Techstars is bringing its global accelerator program to Asia for the first time in partnership with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten and its chat app Viber. The companies will run a three-month program in Singapore starting in July, according to a joint announcement made today. The focus will be on social messaging and, in particular, technologies and startups that align with Viber, the… Read More
This is a list of tech deals from the past half decade that were surprising because of their size, impact or seeming randomness. Some have paid off, while others (cough*Microsoft-Nokia*cough) remain head-scratchers. Read More
Popular messaging platform Viber announced an update to its mobile app today that includes an overhaul of its Chat Extensions feature, offering users access to a raft of sources of third-party content right from within the chat window.
Starting today, directly in their private chat screen, users can find and share their favorite videos from YouTube, songs from Spotify, the perfect stay from Booking.com and soon compelling original content from VICE Media. Alongside these providers, users can find other valuable content to enrich their conversations from GIPHY, Guggy and Getty Images.
One of the feature’s being highlighted by the company is the addition of the YouTube extension. Viber said YouTube videos were among the most popular form of link-sharing among its users worldwide, and now Google’s video platform is accessible directly within the chat screen. Users can search, share and even play YouTube videos without leaving their conversations.
Elsewhere, the Spotify extension allows users to access all of their music and share it in the chat app, while the VICE chat extension brings content spanning news, culture, food, fashion, music, sports, tech and more.
“Viber’s Chat Extensions platform is an exciting environment for VICE’s stories,” said Sterling Proffer, Senior Vice President, Head of Business Strategy & Development for VICE. “As we continue to aggressively grow our cross-platform distribution, it’s still context that matters most. The stories we tell are great additions to any conversation, and making that effort seamless to Viber’s 800 million users is a no-brainer.”
Viber said it would also launch local services in Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Philippines and elsewhere. Based on its API, selected content and service providers will be able to build their own chat extensions and create new ways for users to enrich their chats.
Viber’s new Chat Extensions will roll out gradually, becoming available globally in the coming days. Viber is a free app for iOS available on the App Store. [Direct Link]
Globally popular messaging platform Viber will add a new self-destructing chat feature to its iOS app later this week (via The Verge).
The new feature, called “Secret Chats”, gives users the option of starting entire conversations that self-destruct after a certain time limit.
Users can prevent messages within the secret chat threads from being forwarded to other conversations. The feature also notifies users on iOS when someone takes a screenshot, and blocks screenshots altogether when chat threads are viewed on an Android smartphone. As with all Viber chats, the messages are end-to-end encrypted, while users can also opt to hide Secret Chats behind a PIN code.
The feature comes hot on the heels of the “Secret Messages” feature the company introduced earlier this year that lets users specify how long individual messages can be accessed for after being viewed by the recipient.
Viber has more than 800 million registered users worldwide, with particularly strong followings in parts of Asia and across eastern Europe and northern Africa.
Messaging apps can amass a lot of user data over time including everything from personal photos and videos users have shared to records of who they talk to most, where they’ve been, and what online financial services they use. Over the last few years, more and more of these messaging apps began to offer end-to-end encryption to win over users who want privacy at least as much as they… Read More
Popular messaging app Viber has received an update that brings a number of new features to the platform, including the ability to send Secret Messages.
Users are now able to specify how long photos, videos, and chat messages can be accessed for after being viewed by the recipient. The time limit options for viewing a Secret Message are 1, 3, 7, and 10 seconds.
Viber has also added the ability to send media as files, so users can send photos and videos in their original size and quality. In addition Viber now supports rich notifications on iOS 10, meaning users can see the contents of messages on the notifications screen or in another app.
Lastly, Viber now offers instant video messaging. Users simply tap and hold the instant video icon, and they can capture and send videos lasting up to 30 seconds.
While messaging app watchers are waiting for Snap Inc. to announce its IPO, another app has appointed a new CEO. Viber — the messaging app that was acquired by Rakuten in 2014 — has announced Djamel Agaoua as its new CEO. This is significant because Viber — which has had a promising 800 million downloads but has seen active user growth stall as others like… Read More