Viber launches games platform

  • AFP
  • Updated: Dec 19, 2014 11:52 IST

After voice and video calling, the social messaging app is now adding social gaming to its platform.

As the popularity of social messaging apps grows, so does the need for the different companies behind the apps to offer new and exciting features in order to keep up with the competition and to keep people on their platforms.

Gaming is quickly becoming part and parcel of messaging apps that are big in Japan, Korea and China -- such as Line and WeChat. So, while Viber is by no means in uncharted territory, it is the first app with a large Western world user base to plug into the trend for smartphone gaming.

"We have been focusing on broadening the functionality of Viber and are really excited to unveil Viber Games," said Talmon Marco, Viber CEO. "This major expansion of our platform gives people another completely new way to connect with Viber. It's an important step for us and we are looking forward to the response from our users."

By hosting games within the app, Viber can bring a host of social, interactive, connected elements that are missing from standalone titles. Users can compete with their contacts and gift each other in-game purchases for example.

But perhaps the smartest feature is to put quality above all else. When the feature goes live on Monday in five initial test regions -- Belarus, Malaysia, Israel, Singapore and the Ukraine -- players will only have a choice of three games. All of the titles has been developed specifically for Viber and even feature characters that are based on the app's growing choice of customizable stickers.

The three games are Viber Candy Mania -- a platform/puzzle game featuring Violet and Legat (two popular Viber sticker characters); Viber Pop -- a bubble puzzle game; and Wild Luck Casino, which features virtual slot machines.

After a test run, Viber plans to roll the games out globally some time in 2015.

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