Viber recently announced that it reached 100 million registered users across different platforms. Reaching this milestone seems to have not been enough for the developers of the 3G VOIP app though, as they have gone ahead and launched native clients for three more phone platforms: Symbian, S40 and Bada. The company is also adding free phone calls and group messaging to the Nokia Windows Phone 7 version of the app, apart from releasing a localization update for iOS.
The app, which essentially lets you make free phone calls, send messages or send photo messages over 3G and Wi-Fi, is currently available on iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia’s Lumia phone range, which run on Windows Phone 7.
The version of the app on the S40, Symbian and Bada platforms features Viber's popular text messaging service. Around 1.5 billion phones using the Nokia S40 platform have been sold since it was first released, so Viber can look forward to a lot of downloads.
Viber expands to Symbian, S40 and Bada
Viber is also releasing a completely new version for Nokia Lumia phones running on the Windows Phone 7 platform. The new version lets users make free VOIP phone calls and organise groups for messaging, in addition to free text and photo messages. Viber states that this version was developed in partnership with Nokia.
"We are committed to our users and to our mission – to let people all over the world connect freely," said Talmon Marco, CEO of Viber Media. "By adding the S40, Symbian and Bada platforms to our list of supported mobile OSs, we are expanding the community of individuals who can communicate for free, no matter what platform they use."
Also being released is an update for the iOS version of the app. Viber for iPhone now contains localization to Arabic, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Hebrew and Portuguese.
Free messengers are growing in popularity owing to an exponential increase in Internet penetration. With mobile data plans growing cheaper and carriers offering faster speeds, users are turning to mobile apps and the Internet to satisfy their communication needs. A proof of this trend is WhatsApp Messenger, which managed to record 10 billion messages in one day - comprising six billion outbound messages and four billion inbound messages. WhatsApp is a popular mobile messaging service for smartphone users and is available across a variety of platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, among others.
WhatsApp has denied that it is a threat to telephone carriers and the money they earn from SMS messages. Instead, its co-founder, Brian Acton, said in an interview that WhatsApp was helping carriers move their customers to data packages that would, in the long term, prove more profitable. "I view it from the perspective that we're facilitating a broad movement to data plans and the entities that provide those plans are the carriers, so they stand to benefit quite substantially," he said. "It's all about the data."