Viber has added video calling to its messaging app, as it continues to expand its services beyond basic messaging following its $900 million acquisition by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten earlier this year.
The addition of video calling brings the service closer to the functionality that has been offered by Skype for some time. Other messaging services also provide video calling, including Tencent’s WeChat/Weixin and Japan-based LINE.
The world’s most popular messaging app, WhatsApp, currently in the process of being acquired by Facebook, offers video messaging, but not full calls. Snapchat is also believed to be in the process of developing a more basic video messaging capability.
Back in December last year, Viber boosted its efforts to generate revenue by introducing Viber Out, which enables users to make low-cost calls to any mobile or landline phone number.
Rakuten said at the beginning of August that there were more than 600 million registered users for Viber as growth accelerated following its acquisition. The figure was 400 million at the end of December 2013.
“The growth is accelerating, especially in countries like India, Russia, the Latin American countries, in Southeast Asian countries,” Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten commented.