Third-party messaging applications are big business on mobile, with many users looking to break away from the expensive text messaging plans offered by carriers. WhatsApp is likely the most used of these apps, but Viber is looking to take the throne away with the launch of its messaging client on PC and Mac (with Linux coming soon). WhatsApp, and most of Viber's competitors, are 100-percent focused on mobile, which just might give Viber an edge in the market, since its users will be able to use the app on all of their devices.
Viber already has over 200 million users, so it's not exactly a newcomer trying to take on the big boys. But while the service has that many users signed up, the company did not specify how many of them are active users.
The Mac and PC versions of Viber should feel comfortable to anyone who has used Skype, Messages for Mac, or any other popular desktop-based messaging service. It can be used for texting, voice calls, and video chats. The video chat feature only works from desktop-to-desktop for the time being.
To go along with the desktop releases, Viber is also updating its mobile applications with some slick new features such as video messages, new stickers, last online status and more. As you'd expect, the desktop version syncs with the mobile apps, and users can even push their calls from desktop to mobile with a single tap, allowing them to continue a conversation if they have to leave the house for one reason or another.
Will this move put Viber ahead of WhatsApp and its other competitors? Time will tell, but it most certainly seems like a smart decision, what with so many users spending a large part of their day in front of computer screens.
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