Rakuten Viber, a global leader in cross-platform messaging and voice-based communication, shares insights about industry trends and challenges, Rakuten Viber for Business solutions, and the future of business communications and messaging.
On May 30, 2022, Rakuten Viber’s senior management came to Algiers, Algeria for their first media roundtable in the country to present the business offer of the popular app. To the media representatives in attendance, the Rakuten Viber team shared the company’s perspective on a few key topics, such as the current trends and challenges in the industry, an introduction of Rakuten Viber for Business solutions and their benefits for various industries and businesses, and the company’s objective to become a super-app.
Smartphone usage is on the rise and, with it, the amount of hours users spend on mobile. More importantly, over 95% of internet users access chat and messaging apps. Users expect to be able to solve more tasks without switching between different apps, they tend to use their favorite apps much more, and messengers are often among those favorites. Moreover, people want to have dialogues with brands in messaging apps: 74% of users prefer messaging with businesses if a real person is responding. In this mobile-first world, it is increasingly important for brands to be where their users are and leverage tools for effective mobile and messenger marketing. Rakuten Viber is well-placed to make the most of these trends: in Algeria alone, Rakuten Viber facilitates over one billion calls, over twelve billion messages, and timeless connections between users and brands.
From a business perspective, Rakuten Viber offers advertising solutions (native ads, branded stickers, and lenses), messaging solutions (chatbots, business messages), and calling solutions (business calls). All these tools help businesses to reach their customers at each stage of the customer journey: attract, interact, transact, and stay in contact.
Today, more than 8,500 brands across the world rely on Rakuten Viber business messaging solutions to strengthen 1-to-1 communications with their customers. By focusing on both user expectations and brands’ business needs, last year, the company recorded:
To increase their visibility and attract new users, brands can also leverage Rakuten Viber advertising solutions. Native, non-intrusive Rakuten Viber Ads with different targeting capabilities continue to gain popularity. Last year, the volume of ad impressions on Rakuten Viber grew by 70%, showcasing the significant interest from advertisers across the world. Among the top-performing verticals worldwide are health and fitness, which grew by 90%, energy by 56%, and transportation by 51%. The app has also seen a spike in new advertising categories such as recruitment and local businesses, reflecting the pandemic’s influence on business and the job market.
Recently launched, branded Lenses that help brands stay relevant for a Gen Z audience, and Rakuten Viber Stickers are other creative tools to leverage visibility and engage with the brand’s existing and potential customers by using viral and interactive solutions.
However, messaging and advertising solutions are not the only ways to connect users and brands. Later this year, Rakuten Viber is planning two major launches: Commercial accounts on Rakuten Viber will make brands searchable and arrive alongside a uniquely valuable service—Business Calls. These two changes will enable a scenario where a user can find a brand within Rakuten Viber, open their business page, and call or message them directly from the app.
Moreover, both brands and users trust Rakuten Viber thanks to its unwavering commitment to security and privacy. Security is incorporated in the DNA of the company with features like end-to-end encryption for private, group chats and private calls by default, IP whitelisting, HTTPS-only connections, and encryption in transit for business messages—to name a few.
"Today people no longer want to use apps for different needs separately. On average app users spend 77% of their time on their top 3 apps, and almost half of their time in one single app. People nowadays seek one gateway to many options in one place", says Berina Tanovic, Senior Partnership Manager MENA at Rakuten Viber. "Our long-term goals for consumers and for brands form a single all-encompassing strategy of becoming a super-app: to maximize the utility of the app for the user base, so that consumers could solve as many tasks as possible without leaving the comfort of the app—and to allow brands to reach their audience at each stage of the customer journey".