The end game? Viber seems determined to grow its global user base in the face of competition
To increase its global reach, Viber is stepping up its game — through gaming.
The company announced on Tuesday that it has acquired Nextpeer for $9 million to boost its gaming platform. Israel-based Nextpeer offers a software development kit (SDK) that allows game developers to add a social layer to the game through features such as Facebook integration, multiplayer, player-to-player messaging, and more.
Viber’s purchase comes shortly after its own launch into the playing field of social gaming, when it released Viber Games in December. With its most recent acquisition, Viber will also bring in some top-notch talent from the field. Nextpeer’s SDK and other services will fuel new opportunities and functionalities for Viber, and Nextpeer’s 12 employees will immediately become members of the Viber team.
Viber COO Michael Shmilov shared in a statement, “We are delighted to welcome the Nextpeer team to the Viber family. In this deal, we looked for a team that shares our passion, drives innovative thinking, and brings its expertise in building an open platform for developers.”
In February 2014, Israel-based Viber was acquired by Japanese electronic commerce company Rakuten for $900 million. The past year-and-a-half has been eventful for WhatsApp’s greatest competitor.
And what’s up with WhatsApp?
As apps that both offer free messaging, voice, and video services across the world, WhatsApp and Viber often appear head-to-head, each with their loyal user bases. As of April, WhatsApp had 800 million active users. Viber follows with 600 million users worldwide. As Geektime reported in December, “Viber Games seems like an attempt at staying relevant and increasing engagement on the Viber platform.”
It seems that the acquisition of Nextpeer involves similar motives — stay relevant and increase engagement. And when the competition to connect the world gets serious, why not do so through a universal appreciation for fun and games?
Featured Image Credit: Nextpeer