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Current trends make the most of us addicted to celebrity Twitter feeds, tabloids and reality television, so Viber’s CEO and founder decided that making the app more celebrity oriented would only benefit him.
Conseqently, the company introduced a new feature called “Public Chats”, where users are able to easily see what celebrities and public figures are speaking about. It’s what you would call the best little eavesdropper.
Perez Hilton, gossip blogger extraordinaire, could use this tool to speak with other bloggers and celebrities, for instance, while the models at Next Model Management might share selfies or casting information with each other. On the other hand, groups of actors might document their Amsterdam escapades with the app.
You may think that the initiative is not all that different from Facebook or Twitter, however, Marco Tamon, Viber CEO and Founder is certain that the feature brings something completely new to the table: the feeling of real conversations. Average users are, after all, let in on actual conversations. This feature should differentiate Viber from all other chatting apps such as WhatsApp, Kik and WeChat.
It’s true that competition is as fierce as ever after the messaging app space began to get more crowded. Chat applications are more alike than ever and it seems that the only thing setting them apart is the number of users they have gathered. Mind you that such chatting platforms are only useful to users if their contacts also use the same platform.
“We don’t necessarily envision making money directly out of public chats. But this is something for our users to do , and at the same time, we think it will bring additional users and show them what Viber can be used for.”
Marco said, also expressing his conviction that new, unique features could help Viber achieve its ultimate goal: that of convincing more users to switch platforms.
In this respect, WhatsApp is clearly the most successful platform, with approximately 600 monthly active users. Viber, on the other hand, only gathers up 210 million.
“This one of those things a platform like Viber needs to do, even though they’ve been acquired. They’re still a young company, and they’re trying to do more to get people to spend more time in the app.”
Julie Ask, Forrester analyst explains.
What is also worth considering, Ask says, is that such a feature would allow celebrities to get in touch with international audience.
“There could be geographies that lets say Taylor Swift doesn’t have a big following in. That’s a great opportunity to engage wtih fans and drive buzz.”