Viber boss: Messaging apps need new services to keep users

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 12 2019 06:50 AM

The Viber interface is shown in this photo from the chat app's website

SINGAPORE - Messaging apps need to offer a variety of new services to keep up with changing digital trends and to sustain their business, Viber CEO Djamel Agaoua said.

As more services become available messaging apps need to provide more in terms of “convenience” so that users will keep using the app for years, Agaoua told ABS-CBN News.

“We can imagine more and more a convenient feature of the ‘daily life’ and this is what we’re going to do in the future,” he said.

Viber has some 25 million users in Philippines, representing a quarter of the population, the company had said.

Viber CEO Djame Agaoua shows off a shopping feature that the messaging app has rolled out in the United States. Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Among the services that messaging apps can offer are shopping and payment options, automatic translations, as well as artificial intelligence-powered tools that can take commands to control other devices.

“You need to find a variety of services that fit your evolving needs,” he said.

Agaoua said messaging apps should create conditions that would make it difficult for users to change apps as he noted Viber’s goal to become users’ “lifetime app.”

"The thing is the more we make a condition for you to make Viber your favorite tool to communicate with your family or closest friends, the more we have a chance that you’ll use it for long," he said.

"We try to build this, give a variety of content as well as push people to use it as a kind of an archive of your life," he said.