Viber continues to expand worldwide and is also looking to localize itself in every market it touches. For people in Malaysia, there is no exception.
In an interview with Bytz (via), Viber CEO Talmon Marco revealed that the company had plans for the market after recently setting up offices in Vietnam and the Philippines. These plans include “local activities” within the region, which Viber considers “important” in its plans to expand.
“…consumption of the average smartphone user is higher [in Malaysia] than in other countries within the area…”
Marco notes that the data “consumption of the average smartphone user is higher” in Malaysia than in other countries within the area and the “smartphone penetration is already above 60% and growing rapidly,” which bodes well for an expanding Viber. However, due to the uniqueness of the southeast Asian market, localization is extremely important and winning over the market will be different from, say, the United States or Europe.
“Trying to put all the people in South-East Asia in one bucket is overly simplistic,” said Marco. “Each country has its own rich history, culture and habits. We’re doing our best to cater to the individual needs of each of these markets.”
Viber Out and Sticker Shop features are key to Viber’s localization efforts
Viber is boasting its recently released Viber Out feature as well as its growing sticker market as vital in the company’s localization efforts. The stickers are also proving quite popular elsewhere, and Marco says both Viber Out and the Sticker Shop have “increased the number of messages users send in Viber” globally. Most of these messages are sent while utilzing Android, which is none too surprising since it is the world’s most common mobile OS.
Viber is holding fast to its efforts at protecting user privacy, having “never developed the ability to collect” any user information and going so far as refusing to allow governments to access the content of messages or calls, which led to the banishment of the app in Saudi Arabia last year. Despite this ban, Viber continues to be one of the world’s most popular calling apps. The ability to use the app in Saudi Arabia was reopened last month.