A new monetization strategy by Viber is being cleverly packaged for desktops with the latest version rollout
Viber announced today the launch of Viber Desktop 4.0. I bet many of you didn’t even know Viber had a desktop version. Well they do, and the popular mobile Voip company’s new version will be available on Linux for the first time, in addition to Windows and Mac.
The latest version includes new features such as drag and drop for photo sharing, ‘Seen’ status that lets you know when your messages have been viewed, video message viewing and other upgrades. The main feature that the company is banking on users getting into is the inclusion of the Viber Sticker Market.
Sticking to the the plan
The term ‘banking’ can be taken literally in this case. If you remember, back at the start of October Viber announced Stickers as their first attempt at a monetization strategy. For those of us who do not live on social chatting services, stickers are those large emoticons reminiscent of Japanese anime art that have become extremely popular in Asian markets and have begun to show their overly cute and sometimes obnoxious faces on US based chat platforms as well.
Facebook has recently included stickers as part of their chat feature extras. Perhaps you’ve already experienced them having had your feed view suddenly commandeered by one of these giant smileys gushing waterfalls from its eyes to replace the iconic frownie smiley, or a vomiting stream of green slop smiley who is quickly putting squiggly mouth smiley out of a job, btw.
“Viber Desktop is a critical part of our strategy to provide users with a seamless communications experience across all of their devices and platforms,” said Talmon Marco, Viber CEO. “Updating Viber Desktop with the Viber Sticker Market gives our users an incredibly fun and personal way to communicate with their friends, no matter which device they’re using.”
Closed caption [And hopefully a way to start making money]. It might seem like a strange way to try and monetize a company for those of us over 12 but just look at Line – a Japanese mobile messaging company whose Q1 2013 earnings attributed some 30% (about $17.4M) of their Y5.82B ($58M) to Stickers. I’m no expert but I believe the appropriate response in such cases is: