Instant messaging app Viber has launched its latest version with a feature called Viber Out, which will let you make calls to any mobile or land line phone even if the recipient doesn’t have Viber.
The communication service which turned 3 years old today, says that it has more than 200 million users in 193 countries. Viber Out was launched earlier in Philippines after the Typhoon Haiyan to make communication easier.
Increasingly,the messaging app is starting to look like it’s going after Skype. “Viber Out has a significantly lower price-per-call than other competing services due to lower per minute rates and omission of connection fees,” the company said today.
For instance, in India, Skype Out costs nearly five times more than Viber Out for a 3 minute call. A Viber Out call from the mobile in India is also cheaper than a Skype call from the mobile. Viber had different charges for mobile & desktop usage.
Viber Out displays your real phone number to the recipient so he or she knows who is calling, the company said.
Here’s a quick Q&A with Talmon Marco, the Founder & CEO of Viber.
How many users do you have in India?
We recently announced that we have crossed 15 mn users in India.
Do you need a license to do this in India?
We are not an India based company. So…
How are you funded?
We are pretty much self funded. Haven’t taken any venture capital yet. But this is something we are considering.
How do you approach app distribution?
Our focus really has been on the product. Some products are viral in nature. Users are motivated to share with friends. There are three kinds of product. The ones like Viber are inherently viral. There are those that are somewhat viral. SOmething like YouTube where it reflects well on you if people share. Then there are the kinds that you don’t want other people to know that you are using.
You are now in competition with Skype and others like Whatsapp. How do you push growth from here?
We rely on virality as well as marketing. We now have a marketing office in Philippines. And we are seeing the rewards of being there. We are going to be present in other markets.