The Rise of Japan’s Digital Giant: Rakuten Buys Viber App

 

Last week, Viber messaging app was sold to Japan’s e-commerce giant Rakuten Inc.

rakuten&viber

For the Japanese company this was a logical business move, following previous efforts to shift the boundaries of its digital empire. With 300 million registered users, Viber is enabling its new owner to reach an entirely new audience at the global level. Rakuten owns the largest e-commerce platform in Japan, which, in many ways, is a multi-oriented shopping mall, covering a vast number of merchandise. Its services range from a web-based bank, all the way to video games. Rakuten’s chief executive Hiroshi Mikitani has stated before that the firm has been trying to find new ways to expand. Over the past couple of years, the company has acquired the Canadian e-reader company Kobo, European video-on-demand company Wuaki.tv, Singaporean online TV and film streaming Viki, and it also purchased a stake in Pinterest.

“This acquisition is a totally new strategy that will take Rakuten to a different level,” said Hiroshi Mikitani. Viber’s CEO and founder, Talmon Marco thinks this combination presents an amazing opportunity for Viber to enhance their rapid user growth in both existing and new markets. “Sharing similar aspirations with Rakuten, our vision is to be the world’s number one ommunications platform, and our combination with Rakuten is an important step in that direction.”, he said. Viber holds a strong position among the top five smartphone call and messaging apps. Some of its major competitors are Skype and WhatsApp. Viber’s most important markets include the US, Russia, Australia and the Middle East. The potential of this particular market is huge. The deal between Viber and Rakuten certainly might inspire new acquisitions and/or mergers in the sector. This business transaction undoubtedly marks the beginning of an entirely new direction in the sphere of digital communications.

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The Sticker market is now open for Windows Phone 8 users!

Good news for Windows Phone 8 users: Viber Media Inc. released a new version of Viber!
Guys in Viber Media Inc. got feedback from their users; their wishes, requests, problems… And the result is here: version 4.0!
Windows Phone 8 ver. 4.0 - Sticker Market is now open
First of all, they opened The Sticker market: more than a 1000 stickers are available for free download and/or to buy. Beside the funny stuff in the Market, new version of Viber also includes serious improvements like resuming and loading app’s speed and push notification delivery. Missing features like “Seen” and “Last Online” statuses are now also included. Another good thing is ability to hide notification content – a must have feature!

There are lot’s of improvements, added features and bug fixes in new verison…and accordingly to the most of users, they did a good job. Bad news: some features, like Viber Out are still missing. That’s something guys in Viber Media Inc. are probably preparing for us in the near future.
Stay tuned and we’ll bring you the good news!

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Announcement: Viber 4.0 for iOS and Android released

 

Spice up your conversations with the new Viber 4.0 for iOS and Android

We are quickly approaching December, and, of course, that ”most wonderful time of the year” – the Christmas gift giving season. In the spirit of the incoming holidays, Viber Media has decided to give its users a gift of multiple enhancements to its mobile applications: Viber 4.0 for iOS and Android.

viber

What can you expect from the new iOS and Android versions? There are so many wonderful new features in both editions that it’s hard to say which of them will cheer you up the most!
First of all, if you like to spice up your conversations with creative images, you’re going to love the brand new Sticker Market. With over 1,000 stickers to choose from, you will be able to brighten up every dialogue. Just download themed sticker packages and have fun chatting!
The Viber 4.0 update also brings supported Android tablet compatibility, with the new tablet-optimized interface. Viber is now fully compatible with Android tablet devices and enables synchronization with messages and calls.
Today, it’s all about communities – social networks, the entire empire of the internet…everybody likes to hang out with a lot of people. The more the merrier, right? In line with these trends, Viber has also increased group capacity in messaging, which gives you the opportunity to get in touch with even more people, all in one place.
We also have great news for all of you who prefer voice messaging. In this wave of updates, Viber has introduced the Push-to-talk voice messaging feature. Users will now be able to send short voice messages to each other.
Sharing is caring. Viber knows you know this. That’s why, from now on, Viber gives you the ability to forward messages to any group or contact.
Let’s not forget the lovely conversation backgrounds in the new background gallery! Everybody wants to be surrounded with beautiful scenery while they do…well…anything. So, why not decorate your Viber conversations with some pretty elegant backgrounds?
This unique set of updates does not only bring you enhancements, but also bug fixes. All in all, you sure will not be disappointed with the whole package. Get yourself an entirely new Viber experience and express yourself in more fun, exciting ways than ever before!

 

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Viber launched Viber Desktop and Viber 3.0 for iOS and Android

Today, Viber Media has launched two huge novelties: the revamped Android and iOS versions, and Viber Desktop. The latter is a major step forward in Viber’s market approach, since its efforts so far have been primarily oriented towards the mobile communications industry.
Obviously, Viber has concluded that it was just the right time for it to accept the challenge and take things to the next level. Breaking ground in the desktop space (Windows/Mac) means that, from now on, Viber users will be able to send free messages and make free calls, on any device and network, in any country. Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device, so you can start the conversation on the Viber mobile application and continue from the comfort of your PC.


Excellent quality HD voice and video calls, free text and photo messaging, practical group conversations and other typically Viber features are now available to manage from your computer. What is more, no registration, passwords or invitations are required.
In addition to the major desktop breakthrough, Viber has also made some nice updates to its current iOS and Android versions. So, what is new in that department? Viber 3.0 for iOS and Android will now have video messages, improved user interface, as well as enhanced photo experience. Both include new packages of fun stickers and boast major performance improvements. Online status is now available, as well as “Last online” feature. Also, the number of languages that are supported has expanded – Swedish, Turkish, Korean, Dutch, and many more are now part of the increasingly growing Viber community worldwide.
Some enhancements have been made separately. For example, Viber is now designed according to Google’s guidelines for Android apps based on the HOLO theme. In case of iOS, accessibility is one of the newly supported features characteristic for that brand only.
Another big announcement is on its way as well. Viber CEO Talmon Marco says development for Blackberry 10 is in its advanced stages, so the new version will be rolling out pretty soon, leaving us to believe that Viber means some serious business and is heading towards new spheres of success.

VIDEO
Introducing: Viber desktop

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Viber releases the new Windows Phone 8 version

It’s official – the new Viber for Windows Phone 8 has been released!

Viber Media, the leading mobile messaging and VoIP company, has announced the launching of the latest Viber version, which has been widely anticipated. This time it’s all about the Windows Phone 8 version. As is always the case with new Viber releases, this one too is packed with some pretty brilliant features.

windows phone

Viber had previously launched an application for Windows Phone that didn’t support voice calling. However, the latest issue comes with all of the already familiar advantages supported by other operating systems: free text and photo messaging, free VoIP HD calling and group chat that can gather up to 40 of your friends. You can share photos directly from your device’s photo gallery and location sharing is included as well. Given the fact that Viber is popular and used around the globe, the app typically supports up to 30 different languages.

So, what is new then? As for the new customized look and performance of Viber for Windows Phone 8, both have been enhanced. It actually comes with an interface that has been especially tailored for the latest generation of Windows Phone devices, including a native call screen. One new interesting new feature has been added – now you can pin your conversations to the home screen via tiles (Live Tiles). For conversations that remain unpinned, users will get lock screen notifications.

The redesigned app will now be available on the growing list of Windows 8 devices. In the words of Talmon Marco, Viber CEO: One of our most important goals is supporting multiple platforms, ensuring our users can reach all of their friends and contacts no matter what mobile OS they use. Supporting Windows Phone 8 is a critical part of this strategy.

Well, there you have it folks – free calls and free texts with loads of other cool stuff, now available for WP as well. This is exciting news for the WP ecosystem, however, on this platform, Viber will have to compete with other communication apps like Skype, Facebook etc. Still, this is a huge step forward for the Viber application and it opens new market possibilities. In the end, it’s all about pleasing the users. Viber Media have thus once again confirmed that, in their case, the users come first.

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Viber 2.3 – The Christmas App for Winter Fun

There was no question about it – the Viber app factory has been preparing a one-of-a-kind Christmas surprise for all its fans out there. With the first days of official winter, it launches a brand new version of its extremely popular mobile communication platform.

Viber 2.3 is available for both Android and iPhone devices, and it comes just in the right time. As always, new version means 100% new and/or improved features. This time, Viber has focused on fun, fun, fun. The ultimate Viber 2.3 offers you a variety of additional elements to incorporate into your text and photo messages. The most important change in function and appearance is the new slide message menu. Users will now be able to show their moods and emotions while messaging, and do so in a very inventive way. In addition to classic emoticons, the new Viber app includes digital stickers that really make a statement.

viber 2.3

Other interesting and useful features include: ”send location” which allows users to share geographic locations, that is, maps; a new and improved user interface, and, only in the Android version, an option to leverage the already existing ringtones and message tones for all communication happening on Viber. Let us not forget new group conversation experience that now supports up to 40 participants, and the fresh new look of Viber on iPhone iOS 5 and 6, including the keypad.

As we move closer and closer to another new year, communications industry is really reaching its full economic potential. In 2012, Viber Media has recorded significant growth, and the trend is expected to continue in the incoming year as well. Since the first launch of this amazing application, Viber creators have paid much attention to continual development and renewal of its features. This Christmas, Viber is being updated to version 2.3, which, obviously, aims at the young adult audience. The latest pack of features highlights the importance of fun and easiness in both call conversations and texting, which will, undoubtedly, appeal to its desired target market.

Every time Viber introduces something new and attractive, it brings it closer to its competition. This time, Viber has clearly set a goal to make it big time, bigger than ever before, in only few years of its existence on the market.

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Summertime – time for Viber 2.2

This week, Viber Media, the pioneering mobile VoIP company, released the latest version of its extremely popular mobile communications platform – Viber 2.2.

The new version is currently available for Android and iPhone operating systems and boasts multiple new features, ready to be discovered by Viber users. It’s new, it’s fresh and it’s taken to a whole new level. Things to be especially highlighted include: group messaging, multiple user interface improvements and better call quality. Good news is that the beta version for Blackberry has also been updated with the latest text-messaging options.
 
Viber 2.2. brings you a completely different messaging experience. Now Viber users can communicate with up to 16 contacts at once, which is a huge step forward in the world of mobile communications. It will most probably prove very useful among both businesspeople and circles of friends. In order to avoid possible confusion, profile images and display names are constantly shown in the message screen. Together with the release of group messaging, Viber has integrated several smart features into its text messaging platform:
à a smart notification system that limits new message alerts so that users wouldn’t be overwhelmed with every single reply that is added
à text messages incorporating photos and locations
à unique background images for each user, meaning you can have your own background image while group chatting and others who are involved in the conversation can’t see it, as well as changing backgrounds for different chats
 
Another thing that’s more than welcome is an improved call quality due to a HD voice engine, which will certainly be one of the most contributing factors in recruiting new users. Enhancements regarding the Viber interface will also be interesting to people involved in group messaging sessions, as they will be able to share their names and photos with users who are not directly connected with them, that is, users who are not in their own contact list.
 
As for Android users, Viber 2.2. offers them 9 available languages – Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Some more languages are coming soon.
 
Get ready for an entirely new communications experience with Viber 2.2. – the hottest thing this summer.

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Viber for Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 now available

Viber Media, has announced that the beta versions of their ultra popular application for Blackberry and Windows Phone devices has just been released. To be exact, the application is intended specifically for Blackberry OS 5 or higher, as well as for Windows Phone 7.

Previously, Viber was available for iPhone and Android phones, and the new edition boasts almost all the fancy features like its already released versions. Most importantly, there is Viber Messaging, allowing users to exchange text and high-quality photo messages, as well as to share their current locations with other Viber users. There is also instant connection with the device’s interface which makes Viber automatically identify the existing Viber-using contacts on your mobile phone. In this way, you won’t have to ”request” any friendships which is usually the case with classic social networking. Unfortunately, the only missing feature here is the calling option. The full release for both platforms (Blackberry and Windows Phone), including Viber’s signature HD-quality free voice calling, will be released as soon as it meets Viber’s quality standards.

Viber Founder and CEO, Talmon Marco, says the company is consistently guided by the belief that everyone who’s connected to the Internet via their mobile phone, should be able to enjoy a free, high-quality communications experience. By adding BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 to the constantly growing list of interoperable platforms, Viber has additionally strengthened its position on the market as the ultimate messaging app, providing maximum communications experience to millions of users all over the world.

In fact, Viber Media is already holding the leading position among the top mobile communications platforms. Taking into account that it provides 100% free HD quality phone calls, both text and photo messages, no wonder its popularity is increasing on a daily basis. Each month, Viber users spend more than 1 billion minutes on conversations and send over 1 billion messages. With more than 69 million registered iPhone and Android users in 17 months of being on the market, and recruiting more than 200,000 new users per day, Viber definitely justifies the label of being the fastest-growing communications platform and company of today.

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Viber 2.1.3 for Android – ICS support

Today Viber announced that the new version 2.1.3 for Android is available at Android Market. Main feature is that Viber from now on can work on Android 4 devices.

Here is the original announment:

Viber users have been asking for an ICS compatible version from the moment it was released by Google. The latest version of the mobile OS is powering the most recent generation of Android smartphones including the incredibly popular Samsung Galaxy Nexus. And now – these phones can also run Viber.

In addition, this version includes significant enhancements to the Viber voice engine, featuring better quality, improved support for low end devices and better handling of poor network conditions.

Viber is committed to the Android platform and has seen rapid growth on the OS over the last seven months since it first released the Android version of its app. Additionally, Viber offers Android users several unique features that aren’t available on the iOS version of the app.

Viber recently announced that over 50 million people have registered for the service. Each month, Viber users make over a billion minutes worth of calls and send close to a billion messages. Android users are playing an increasing role in this growth.



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Viber 2.1 – Photo messaging for iPhone and Android

Last big update was Viber 2.0 which introduced text messaging. This time, almost 7 months after, Viber 2.1 enhanced messaging with photos, location sharing and new sound engine. The difference is also that this time Viber released two applications at once – for iPhone and Android.

Photo Messaging
Free text messaging (SMS) was a real hit and Viber users are sending literally billions of messages. Now, with Viber 2.1, you can even send photos. You can take new photo, or use one from your existing library. Usage is simple and intuitive, as it should be on smartphones.
Please not that it is not a MMS and you can not compose text with an picture or make slideshow, but those are anyway rarely used MMS features. Much closer comparison would be sending picture by Skype.


New Sound Engine
Although the incredible sound quality was a one of the main Viber features, it usually caused a problems when talking over 3G mobile network with bad signal or over EDGE connection. Now, with new engine, the calls should be much more flawless, even in not perfect conditions.

Other
Here are few more features that can be found in this new version. For more details you can check the official Viber article for this release.

  • Location sharing. Now you can enable tagging your messages with your current location
  • Typing notification indicates that your friend is writing text response
  • Enhanced graphics for Retina displays

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