November 12, 2013
Viber has finally gone freemium as it has begun selling stickers following its latest update, which pushes the popular messaging app to version 4.0. Viber 4.0 sees the debut of the Sticker Market, from which Viber users can download more than 1,000 new stickers. Some of these stickers may be downloaded for free, while most are available for download as part of sticker packs costing $1.99 each. Stickers (aka glorified emoticons) have proved quite lucrative for other popular messaging apps, most notably Line and KakaoTalk. So, it's about time Viber finally jumped on the sticker-happy money-making bandwagon. Aside from the Sticker Market, Viber 4.0 adds support for push-to-talk messaging, forwarding any message to a contact or group, setting conversation backgrounds, and adding up to 100 participants to group conversations. Viber 4.0 also brings significant performance improvements and a new app icon, although there's still no sign of an iOS 7 redesign in the app. Optimized for iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 5.0 or later, Viber 4.0 is available now in the App Store for free. The update comes shortly after Viber launched Viber Out ahead of schedule in order to contribute to relief efforts in the Philippines, which was recently devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. Viber Out is a SkypeOut-like service that lets users call any mobile or landline number in supported countries. It normally requires Viber credit, which is available via in-app purchase, but as announced by Viber yesterday in a direct message to Viber users in the Philippines:
In light of the current situation in the Philippines, we are opening a temporary service, allowing Filipino users to call regular (non-Viber) numbers outside of the Philippines for free.[gallery link="file" order="DESC"]
Viber Media, Inc.
NAVER Japan Corporation