Viber to monetize via selling stickers, introduces Push to Talk feature

Messaging app Viber which was expected to monetize via selling stickers has finally opened its stickers market for the users. Though Viber was offering stickers on its website since December 2012 for free, just like Facebook, but now following the footsteps of Line, Viber will be having both paid and free stickers in its online market.

With these stickers, the market will also be featuring exclusive content tied into timely events and holidays throughout the year and will be regularly updated with new content to make messaging more relevant and personal.

As Japanese service Line is also selling stickers on its platform, let’s see how Viber is able to compete with it and what approach its takes to offer these stickers to its 200 Mn users. As per Line, it had earned revenues of USD 99.8 Mn in the quarter ending September 2013, with stickers making up 20% of the revenue which was 27% in the second quarter.

Alongwith opening up the sticker market, Viber has also launched a new Push to Talk feature for voice chat, a similar feature is available on WeChat and Whatsapp had also recently introduced it. The company says, “Typically, Push To Talk is a four-step process – record, send, download, play. Viber does all four at the same time. This way, the average response time to a 15 second message is 4-6 seconds, rather than 45-60 seconds.”

We tried it ourselves and yes it was instant.

Viber has also announced a few more new updates, such as now the app has a message forward feature to any group or contact, people can even choose new conversation backgrounds from a custom background gallery. The app will now allow upto 100 participants in any group chat.

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With all the instant social messaging apps launching the same features for their users like stickers, voice chat etc. no uniqueness is left in any of these apps. With such a tough competition, the developers need to work harder to maintain the exclusivity of their apps rather than following each others’ footsteps.

To contact author of this post, email pooja.sareen@wirefootindia.com

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