COVID 19, or the coronavirus, is a deadly virus that has the world in its deadly grasp. From infecting hundreds of thousands, claiming the lives of unfortunate people and resulting in isolation and lockdown strategies, it has changed how people interact with each other. Rakuten Viber has grown too during this crisis.
Calling The World
Spread through human contact and contaminated surfaces, the virus spreads with ease. To counter its propagation, countries all over the world have instituted different distancing and social limitations. From keeping a safe distance from each other to being virtually isolated at homes, people are now bound and cannot move around easily. Without the ability to physically move and meet, people have turned towards using digital communications and the internet to interact. From working remotely to staying in touch with friends and family, everyone is now online and you can use Viber to call anywhere in the world.
Rakuten Viber, as one of the largest internet based communications platforms, has seen an immense rise in its usage. According to the messaging platform, the increase in communications ranges from messages to calls and video chats:
- Daily active users of Rakuten Viber rose by 18% in the month of March.
- User base increased by a quarter.
- Longer call duration was up by 35%
- Average call per user was grown by an immense 370%.
- 75% more videos were shared by users compared to the month prior.
- Group messages increased by an astounding 135%.
- Group members engagement has risen by 78%.
CEO of Rakuten Viber, Djamel Agaoua, was excited by the users’ trust in the messaging platform, understanding that it allowed its users to connect with friends, family and even their work while being isolated and unable to meet. He said the platform will strive to keep the quality of services up and cater to its users,
“During this challenging time, we are adapting and responding to help keep friends and families, students and teachers, coworkers and partners, in constant contact with each other. Our users rely on us, and we will continue enhancing their experience while keeping people connected freely and safely.”
Viber by Rakuten is a messaging application that predates all the most famous ones such as WhatsApp and others. In a world where applications and platforms can die out in a few years, Viber is still going strong. The reason behind its growth and popularity is its ability to understand the requirements of its users and the commitment to provide services that they need. With the current COVID 19 situation, it realizes the trust users have given and their expectations. To this effect, Viber has made upgrades to its platform and application. The updates include:
- Group audio calls limit has been increased from 5 connections at a time to 20.
- Official World Health Organization (WHO) instructions on how to keep safe and avoid being infected by the virus have been sent to millions of users. To ensure that the message by the health organization is effective, it has been translated in 22 different languages so users are most aware.
- A messaging WHO bot has been specifically created. Users can interact with it to know the latest news and updates. The bot will also have information updates from UNICEF U reports. This is to ensure that no rumors are spread and only the facts are communicated to Viber users.
- Viber has paired with around 12 different local health authorities around the world to form official communities that will give users official and trusted information about the virus pandemic and precautions necessary to avoid it.
- With a lot of free time on their hands and no regular activities, people can get bored and seek to break the isolation. Keeping engaged and busy is necessary and for this, Viber has created a new stay home sticker campaign that is designed to keep users happy and engaged.
Created by Igor Magazinnik and Talmon Marco in 2010 from Israel, Viber was initially a simple messaging application with voice call features. Over the years, it has kept evolving and changing as the needs of its users shifted and evolved. Today, the simple application has grown into a multi service communications platform. Users now interact through groups and communities, not only texts, but voice calls over the internet too. Users can call their friends and family wherever they are in the world through free Viber to Viber calls using cheap internet connection.
Another feature, a first in the world and copied by many, was that Viber did away with a login. Rather than force users to create and remember logins and associated passwords, Viber relied on what is unique to their users and the users will be unable to forget: their own mobile numbers.
Viber is a part of Rakuten, a global ecommerce and financial services giant, an official communications channel of FC Barcelona.