Rakuten Viber has partnered with Snap Inc. to bring the magic of augmented reality to its popular messaging app, allowing Viber users to enjoy AR-enabled video messaging and photos for the first time.
“We’re excited to bring the Snap camera to Viber users. Through this partnership, we want to empower the creativity of our users with AR, and we’re looking forward to inspiring new fun-filled ways for people to keep in touch with their friends and family members. Viber is more than a messaging app. It not only connects people with each other, it is also a place where users can create entertaining, exciting, and rewarding content to share with their communities,” said Rakuten Viber CEO Djamel Agaoua in a press statement.
Creativity via augmented reality
Using Snap’s developer tools, including Camera Kit, Creative Kit, and Bitmoji, the Viber app will integrate AR Lenses, enable sharing to Snapchat, and bring customizable Bitmoji avatars to Viber.
The launch includes 30 new Viber Lenses, including animal masks and Viber Characters, an underwater Lens, silly cat interactions, and more.
“Snap’s partnership with Rakuten Viber is a win-win situation for us both. It will help us expand our augmented reality technology into regions where Viber already has a solid footprint, and help Viber’s users express themselves through AR on the Viber platform,” said Elliot Solomon, Director, Camera Platform Partnerships, at Snap Inc.
Rakuten Viber plans to add between 50-70 additional Lenses per month, with at least 300 Lenses by the end of 2021. Businesses will have the opportunity to create their own exclusive Lenses on Viber. The World Wildlife Fund, FC Barcelona, and the World Health Organization are among the first Viber partners to offer new Lenses on the messaging app.
The iOS version on the app with these new features, as well as the Android beta version in English language, will be available starting June 30 in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Maldives, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US.
Viber will roll out the features to additional regions, including the Philippines, and to all Android users in the coming months.