Viber now has AR camera filters for PH users


Posted at Sep 09 2021 02:57 PM | Updated as of Sep 09 2021 03:34 PM


MANILA -- Users of Viber in the Philippines can now include camera filters like animal masks in their conversations with the app's rollout of its newest feature in the country.

Called Viber Lens, the augmented reality (AR) filters are a result of a team-up with Snap Inc., the tech company behind Snapchat. 

Thirty of these AR lenses are currently offered to users in the Philippines, with Viber set to release local content in the coming months. 

Nadav Melnick, Rakuten Viber's vice president for product development, said more people have been using videos and photos on their app as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect gatherings and events around the world. 

He believes that the Viber Lens feature will give them the "ability to better express themselves."

"As more people stay at home, we realized that Viber is an important tool for people to communicate with each other," he said in a recent virtual briefing with members of Philippine media. 

"We're seeing a huge trend of people using videos and photos on our app, and what better way to introduce these AR lenses that you can shoot, send with friends and family, and make people happier," he added. 

Melnick assured that the AR lenses are safe to use, saying that "no information is passed on from our users to anyone."

"The only data that is going between us and Snap is what is the lens presented to all of our users. It's a list of lenses that we show, and some usage data in huge numbers," he explained.

"We look at cumulative data on how often the lenses are used, but no personal data."

Melnick went on to cite the potential of growing AR lenses to include games and other interactive features with both users and brands.

"Viber started out as a voice app, then a messaging app. But we are transforming and adding more abilities to our cameras," he said. 

"This is another evolution of how people can communicate. At the end of the day, we are helping people connect and bring value to our users," he added. 

Filipinos can soon look forward to Viber Lens filters made by local artists like Leeroy New, Anina Rubio, and Jappy Agoncillo. 

David Tse, Rakuten Viber's senior director for the Asia Pacific region, said users are in for a "very strong library" of AR lenses in the app.

"We are going to roll out a lot of customized lenses for Filipino users," he said, noting the increase in group calls and community activity in the app over the past year. 

Related video:

Watch more on iWantTFC