Viber – Is It End of Monopoly for WhatsApp and Skype?

Viber is an instant messaging VoIP application that allows exchange of text messages, pictures, audio and video messages.

It was founded by four Israeili partners – Marco, Megzinik, Maroli and Smocha. The research and development facility of Viber is operated in Israel. Its Israeli roots had generated a controversy regarding the personal information of users being at stake and being spied on by Israeli agencies. The allegations were soon negated by founders clarifying that no monetary input from the Israeli government has gone into the making of Viber, it all being an effort of family and friends.

Cross Platform Application

The most important feature that sets Viber apart is its cross platform approach which has constantly evolved. It can now be used on all mobile and desktop operating systems. A beta version for Linux has also been released. The only clause is that Viber requires its first installation to be on a phone in order to be used on an operating system.

Creating Standards

Viber spread its wings to claiming over 200 million registered users according to data available at the end of the first week of May. It was recently acquired by Rakuten for nine hundred million dollars. It was announced in June, 2014 that Viber has crossed the hundred million mark in terms of active users. This makes it stand in the league of the biggies when it comes to free texting apps.

User Friendly Interface

Viber maintains an easy to use interface with options for access to messages, recent calls, contact, keypad and other options on a tab bar. Upon installation, the mobile phone number serves as the username for Viber. Also, one does not need to add contacts from his cell phone as Viber automatically syncs all the contacts on the directory of the mobile phone.

Viber Out for a Social Cause

An interesting feature that has been added in the app goes by the name of Viber Out. Viber Out allows application users to make calls to non-Viber phone numbers as well as landline numbers. It was launched as a move to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Phillippines to connect with others.

Multilingual Application

Viber has a huge base in terms of the languages that it is available in. It is available in thirty languages that include English, Hebrew, Chinese – both the Traditional and Simplified kind, German, Greek, Nepali, Urdu, Spanish and Russian.

Defacing by SEA

An incident in July, 2013 brought Viber back to the media limelight with Syrian Electronic Army successfully hacking into the Viber network, though no sensitive user information could be accessed. Viber, though running successfully, faces competition from Facebook’s acquisition WhatsApp, new establishments like Line, Hike, KakaoTalk, and the existing Skype. Other than this, it also faces competition from the platforms like Apple and Android itself. Thus, Viber aims at further expansion by including more locales and languages in its data base, and spreading its roots into new markets.

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