Richard Jackson sat down with Viber's Head of North America Scott Nelson to discuss all things Viber, YMS16, and what Viber are doing to stand out in the crowd.
Can you tell our readers a little bit about you?
My name is Scott Nelson and I am the Head of North America at Viber, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing mobile messaging app platforms with over 750 million users worldwide. I lead all aspects of marketing and operations, including digital, social media, advertising, business development, media relations, communications and partnerships for Viber North America. I am an entrepreneur and innovative marketer with more than 16 years of experience leading marketing and advertising strategies across technology, world-class lifestyle brands and numerous consumer startups.
We are so excited to have Viber on our ‘Brand positive’ panel. How do you think Viber gives back to the world, and why is it so important for brands to ‘do good’ in the eyes of the consumer?
Viber has a continued mission of merging mobile messaging and the community. Viber provides platform of empowerment and enable brands and organizations to tell their story in an impactful way with gigantic audience. In North America alone, Viber has partnered with charitable organizations, artist, and community leaders to make meaningful impact. Only one year after the start of the Viber x ALS partnership, Viber’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Public Chat has over 1.6 million followers and their Sticker Pack is now one of the most popular packs on the Viber platform. Viber also supported the Red Nose Day initiative, allowing all proceeds from sales of the Red Nose sticker pack to go directly to the charity as donations.
In addition to large scale initiatives, Viber also supports the local community. Our “Viber Present” Public Chat celebrates undiscovered musicians, providing them a channel to get discovered. Our Boston Life partnership included giving back to the local community through art: putting sticker pack on infrastructures around the city- beautifying the city and celebrating local designers.
The world needs more “good.” Because brands are becoming such an integral part of consumer’s everyday life, it is important for brands to be a positive voice in the community. Our features, campaigns and initiatives all have a common theme in that they help put important conversations at the forefront of our everyday life and build meaningful connections.
Viber is one of the top 10 most downloaded apps ever. That’s no mean feat! What makes Viber stand out?
Viber isn’t just another app meeting a single need. Viber is a brand that connects many things people love, all into one easy-to-use platform. The app was created to connect people (for free) around the world, but it is more than just a simple mobile messaging app – Viber is a lifestyle portal and an ecosystem of entertainment providing innovative ways to communicate unlike any other messaging app.
Viber allows you to express yourself through core features such as text messages, stickers, photos, videos and doodles, games, group chats and locations. The app also makes free HD-quality phone and video calls. We also have the stand out Public Chats feature, providing a unique way for fans to access content from celebrities, influencers and businesses, which has really elevated our platform.
In the end, Viber’s goal is to become a social entertainment base on mobile that centers on communication, allowing users to gain access to content they couldn’t get elsewhere in a way that is user friendly and intuitive. We are a brand with purpose, constantly obsessed with doing what is right and what our user/consumer ultimately wants.
There are a handful of messaging apps out there, for millennials specifically. Are they your main audience and what does Viber do differently than its competitors to keep them loyal?
Viber offers a built-in entertainment experience. We’re not a “one and done” platform where you send a message and the experience ends. We want users to spend time on Viber throughout the day and look to us as a resource for not only communicating with friends but staying connected to the people and brands they care about. We also offer a variety of games to keep users entertained and provide another resource when they seek a creative outlet. Our audience consists of information-seekers and individuals who to be in-the-know and identify the trends and people that connect with them on an emotional level. They look to Viber as a platform that serves them beyond messaging. They’re using Viber to have a different type of conversation and chat out topics that require more than a line or two of text.
From day one, we’ve always walked our own path. Our goal is to serve as a platform that not only allows individuals to communicate with friends and family, but also, offer different points of engagement with not only us, but the world around them.
Have there been any new, exciting campaigns for Viber recently?
We recently launched a series of exclusive 2016 Presidential election stickers with the Huffington Post –a leading global source of breaking news, opinion, entertainment and community. In the past, TV debates, posters, leaflets and live speaking events were just some of the opportunities they had to get their message across. With digital engagement, the opportunities are endless!
In addition to the sticker pack, The Huffington Post also launched a Viber Public Chat, which are live discussions from celebrities, personalities and brands across many topics including music, sports, fashion, entertainment, news and more. Users who download the pack are signed up to follow HuffPost’s Election’s Public Chat where they will be able to engage with editors for real-time updates and political analysis from the site’s top political editors and reporters.
We also recently partnered with Western Union to allow users in the US to send money to more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Our alliance with Western Union is just the first step into this direction, giving our users a new way to quickly and conveniently send money to friends and family.