Viber is ending the year on a high note. The brand free messaging app proudly noted in a virtual media roundtable how it expanded expanded its growth in the Philippines in 2021 — a year marked by strategic partnerships that respond to the changing needs of the users.
These partnerships have been Viber's key driver for success, as the messaging app recorded 33 percent growth in monthly active users in 2021, with 31 percent increase in power users or those using Viber more than 25 days in a month.
Group features like group messages and calls have remained a favorite among the users, posting the biggest gain at 110 percent upsurge. More brands and businesses have also started using Viber to communicate with their customers given that the app noted a 54 percent increase in business messages. Meanwhile, one-on-one messaging is still a must feature at 28 percent growth.
Interestingly, Viber noted that over half of its users in the Philippines are part of the younger demographic with 40 percent belonging to the 25 to 34 age group, followed by the 35 to 50 at 30 percent. Filipinos below 24-years-old have also started using the app more, making up 17 percent of its users, while the remaining 13 percent are comprised of 52-years-old and up.
“Partnering with local brands and businesses has allowed Viber to strengthen its presence in the Philippines while improving our connection with them, responding to their needs, and presenting them with new features that help them enhance how they communicate and make their lives more efficient,” said David Tse, Rakuten Viber Senior Director for APAC.
With this, the app noted significant growth in content collaborations across various categories like entertainment and sports. It also pursued partnerships with fintech companies, tie-ups with government agencies particularly the health departments, and pacts with telecommunication companies.
Viber in the Philippines sealed partnerships with local brands like Globe to help MSMEs on Food PH bot through the Negosyoserye webinars; LEB Holdings Inc. to help Cebuanos connect with local food sellers on Let's Eat Bai Community; and PGAG to provide its avid followers with its own open-for-all Community within the messaging app. It has also tapped personalities like actor and beauty queen Megan Young and radio and TV host Sam YG to help spread the word about Viber's new updates and features.
“What matters to us most is the user journey and how relevant we are to their daily lives. Our users remain and will always be at the forefront of our developments,” Tse shared.
Given the 2021 performance, Tse is optimistic that Viber will be able to move into 2022 in a position of strength.
“Even if the situation goes back to a 'new' normal, online communication will continue to strive, become more efficient, and change how the people communicate. And these new realizations and habits will definitely influence our plans and impact our performance next year and beyond,” Tse ended.