Demand for VoIP services from mobile devices is growing fast, not just in the United States but the world over. Messaging and VoIP calling app Viber is ready to expand its services in India, addressing the significant user figures that the company has amassed in the country since its launch by researching and developing more locally focused content.
The VoIP app currently has 16 million users in India, a weighty chunk for one country out of the app’s 300 million users globally. Add to that the company’s steady growth, adding 600,000 users a day. This doesn’t even place them at the top of the pile either—that honor goes to WhatsApp, the $19 billion company recently acquired by Facebook (News - Alert), with its more than 450 million users.
These staggering figures show that there’s a great thirst for one-on-one VoIP calling and messaging services, in the wake of sharing everything with the world through a tweet or status. And India appears to be fertile ground for this market. According to Gartner (News - Alert), India is the fastest growing smartphone market in the world.
Viber is hoping to jump in on this and, with the company recently acquired by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten for $900 million, it has serious financial power behind it now to make its expansion a reality and legitimately to take firm hold of the number two spot for messaging apps.
The company is planning to place a greater focus on India after opening its Indian offices last December.
“One of the key things is to bring about localization,” said Viber India Head Anubhav Nayyar, in an interview with Business2Business. With the company aiming to double its user base in the near future, it will need to advance its content in different regions but also keep the app’s usability as simple as it always has been and according to Nayyar, this will not involve bringing in ads anytime soon.
“We have always ensured that our products are simple to use and because we believe that if a product is simple to use, has a good user experience, provides some relevant benefits to the consumer, advertising can be kept on hold,” he said.
Edited by Alisen Downey