Thursday, September 21, 2017

Viber holds ‘monopoly’ as number of users grow

Free messaging app Viber has 5 million registered users in Myanmar, the Rakuten-owned company recently revealed.

“This just in: Viber announced today at its very first event in Yangon that it has reached 5 million registered users in Myanmar,” the messaging startup tweeted on July 30.

Viber has seen its Myanmar registered user base spike more than 150 percent in about half a year, up from less than 2 million users in February. That month, the company reported its count of global registered users at about 280 million.

On Device Research, a mobile market research company, called Viber’s hold on the Myanmar chat applications market a “monopoly” and reported almost 80 percent of the country’s mobile internet users tap into the app. Meanwhile, the Cyprus-based company also pointed to a Telenor survey rolled out on Facebook that saw nearly two-thirds of users call Viber their preferred messaging app.

“We believe the key to capturing the hearts and minds of Viber users in any particular market is by offering unique localized content that reflects the values and culture of its people,” said Michael Shmilov, Viber’s Head of Product in a press release. ”We are committed to delivering a great experience for Myanmar users and we’re looking forward to providing content that resonates locally.”

The company’s user base could grow even more now that telecoms in Myanmar are undergoing what some characterize as a revolution. SIM cards from Ooredoo have arrived, with

Telenor SIMs and new offerings from MPT sure to follow.