Voice and messaging app Viber is set to use value added services in order to monetise its offerings, with its core services remaining free, Talmon Marco, the company’s CEO, told Mobile World Live.
The executive said that offering its voice and messaging services free of charge is “sort of a pact we made with our users when we launched… That said, this year we will start offering value added services in order to generate revenue. We’ve got to do it at some point,” he continued.
Marco was dismissive of the potential for advertising as a way to monetise Viber. He argued: “The problem with advertising…is that [devices] don’t have that much screen real estate. You take up some of it with an ad, you have even less. It’s just doesn’t look good. There are better ways to make money.”
Research firm Strategy Analytics recently said that the failure of high-profile messaging apps to monetise successfully will “doom some of the high-flying companies today”. It noted that while such apps can have a significant impact on operator revenue, there is no clear model for them to generate an income themselves.