This week, Viber announced a new feature called Public Chats that expands the app’s capabilities beyond the simple instant messaging it’s known for and moves it deeper into the realm of social media.
Think of Public Chats as a way to “listen” to your favorite celebrities or any other interesting users to follow. Not everyone will be able to participate in the Public Chats, but you should have no problem listening. The conversations themselves, or “vibes,” will be viewable to the Viber-using public but it seems like the conversations will still be kept between friends.
Public Chats can be used as a platform to broadcast to the world at large but it limits actual personal contact to people you already know. It’s similar (but noticeably different) to WeChat‘s official accounts and Kik’s Promoted Chats feature.
Public Chats can be used as a platform to broadcast to the world at large
Already signed up to broadcast their “exclusive insider chats” are Anastacia, Pixie Lott, PerezHilton.com, Tyler Oakley, KISS, Van Dyk, the WWF, and NEXT Models, some of whom were announced today. Of course, the number of “vibes” you can follow will grow over time; Viber will be featuring the most popular “vibes” on the Public Chats home screen to help it avoid becoming crowded.
Viber hasn’t said when the feature will be available to all users; Public Chats is in beta right now. However, interested users can sign up here.