Rakuten Viber in 2022: Trends defining the future of brand-user communication

Viber mariia-martyrosian
Mariia Martyrosian
Global PR & Marketing Innovations Director at Rakuten Viber
Rakuten Viber in 2022: Trends defining the future of brand-user communication

Rakuten Viber, one of the world's leaders in voice-based communication and instant messaging services, shares the main trends that defined how users and brands around the world have been using the app in 2022. The communication app, owned by the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, has over 1B Android downloads worldwide and is being widely used both by users and brands.

Recent surveys show that 71% of consumers want to have convenient access to communication with a business. Seeing this shift in consumer expectations, more and more global brands turn to Rakuten Viber to keep in touch with the audience, create seamless brand-user interactions, and reach users at each step of their customer journey

Building awareness

Businesses are seen leveraging Advertising solutions to increase their visibility and attract new users. In 2022, the number of average monthly Ads impressions on Rakuten Viber reached astounding 6B worldwide, with 680,1M impressions in the Philippines, 605,1M – in Serbia, 580M – in Greece. Among the top-performing Ads verticals worldwide: travel which grew by 75%, real estate by 65%, and jobs & education by 34%, FMCG by 23%, and retail by 22%.

Rakuten Viber Ads in 2022

In addition, brands can use Lenses and Stickers on the app to strengthen their image. Viral and interactive, Rakuten Viber Stickers and Lenses allow users to express themselves creatively while chatting. Rakuten Viber introduced Lenses on its platform more than a year ago and since then they have been used almost 1 Billion times. Realizing the growing trend for augmented reality and visual content, Rakuten Viber lets brands and organizations create their own Lenses and Stickers on the app to strengthen their image and increase brand awareness. 

Strengthening communication

This year brands showed an even stronger interest in Rakuten Viber business messaging solutions as a tool to build connections with consumers in their favorite messaging app. In 2022, Rakuten Viber recorded:

  • A 87% growth in the number of new official Rakuten Viber business accounts created around the world compared to the number of newcomers in 2021. A substantial increase happened in the following countries: 825% in Hungary, 176% in Serbia, 158% in Bulgaria.
  • An overall 31% increase of Business Messages delivered. Notably, the biggest growth was in Hungary – by 433%, Algeria – by 286%, and in Nepal – by 128%.
  • A 17% growth in Сonversational Business Messages around the world (e.g. around-sales support, receiving feedback, and more): in Croatia the numbers grew by 171%, in Serbia by 91%, in the Philippines by 83%. The trend reveals that brands and users increasingly rely on real conversations (rather than the regular one-way messages), contributing to the rise of conversational commerce.
  • A 73% spike in Transactional Business Messages worldwide (order confirmations, delivery trackings, appointment reminders, one-time passwords, and more), showcasing the growing need for important notifications in brand-user interactions. The highest growth was shown in Hungary – by 729%, Philippines – by 603%, and Algeria – by 312%.
  • An 11% growth in the number of Promotional Business Messages globally (e.g. special offers, discounts). The biggest increase was recorded in Hungary – by 218%, Nepal – by 122%, and Vietnam – by 107%.
  • 12B messages were sent and received in Rakuten Viber Chatbots globally, revealing the popularity of this automated tool for round-the-clock support.
Rakuten Viber Business Messaging in 2022

Trends for the future

In 2022, Rakuten Viber has also taken its superapp strategy one step further by introducing its own safe and secure cross-border digital payment solution. Payments on Rakuten Viber allow users to send money to each other as easily as sending a message. Launched initially via waitlist in Greece and Germany, it will roll out to more countries in the near future. Since July, over 100,000 people have signed up for the waitlist. Payments on Rakuten Viber extends the app's utility and value to make it absolutely essential for its hundreds of millions of users and—with more upcoming updates—for thousands of brands. 

Rakuten Viber will be taking a few more major steps along its path as a superapp next year. First, the app will give brands the opportunity to host all their business information, services, and channels of communication on Rakuten Viber in a single meta-business entity, and let users easily find businesses they need and interact with them.

Additionally, Rakuten Viber will be introducing a dedicated folder that will help users organize their conversations with brands in a way that's convenient to them, improve user experience, and boost brand visibility.

“Our updates are a major milestone for the app and lay the foundation for future features Rakuten Viber plans to introduce as part of its superapp strategy: to increase the utility of the app to the users and expand ways in which brands can connect with their audience, bringing more value for both parties.”–says Cristina Constandache, Chief Revenue Officer at Rakuten Viber. “The numbers mentioned above once again prove that we are developing our app in the right direction, as both users and brands increasingly use Rakuten Viber in their day-to-day communication and routines.”