Customer Stories

How Viber empowers advertisers to have two-way conversations with one billion people around the world

Key Insights  

  • Today, advertisers are looking for alternative ways to connect and engage with younger and more digitally engaged demographics, beyond Facebook and Snapchat.  
  • Viber is the breakout industry leader that has proved the value of  their media and “new” telecom hybrid model and their unique approach to partnering with advertisers and major brands.
  • With Mixpanel’s user insights, Viber is able to systematically move the needle on their most important business metrics, and signal to advertisers and brands that Viber is a platform to take one-way conversations into two-way engagements with communities.
  • Global brands such as FC Barcelona, The Golden State Warriors, Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, and Uber, use Viber’s inventive platform to connect with 1 billion people worldwide.

Over 3 million businesses advertise on Facebook, making it one of the leading social platforms for digital advertising in the world. However, with public trust in Facebook at an all time low since the news of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica’s data scandal, people have become skeptical of the platform. Even more pressing: two million people under the age of 25 will stop using Facebook this year in favor of social and messaging platform alternatives, research firm eMarketer predicted.

In turn, advertisers and brands are looking for new ways to connect and engage with younger and digitally engaged communities.

Until recently, the top social platforms have been one-way broadcast channels. But the most innovative messaging platforms now  offer natural two-way conversations between brands and their communities. Now that messaging apps have surpassed social networks in size by 20 percent, cheaper data prices, devices, and shiny features are turning messaging platforms into the place where brands are able to develop authentic connections with their audiences.

As the official communication channel of FC Barcelona, and the instant messaging and calling app partner of the Golden State Warriors, Viber is the breakout industry leader. As a media and “new” telecom hybrid, Viber uses a different strategy of partnering with advertisers and major brands. With a blended business model consisting of both in-app purchases and traditional and emerging advertising, brands partner with the platform to serve ads, host community group chats, launch promotional stickers, and build e-commerce integrations in order to reach audiences on mobile.

By leveraging user analytics, Viber has been able to rapidly innovate their platform for the good of their user experience  and also prove that messaging apps are the next big ad platform. Over time, it has been Viber’s iterative and insights driven processes that keep users engaged for longer on the platform. Since partnering with Mixpanel in 2015, Viber has seen a 15% increase in overall messaging for its one billion global users.  

By providing user insights to improve the performance of their platform, Mixpanel has enabled Viber to fulfill its first order of business: cultivate a cross-platform environment that helps people connect with their loved ones around the world. In doing so, Viber continues to grow a ripe environment for brands, like Coca-Cola, to reach global and diverse users that are highly attentive, offering personal-to-consumer connections. Viber gives advertisers the ability to break through the noise that other social platforms can’t offer: connection and authenticity.

Here’s the story of  how data drives a platform to serve its users and usher in a new age of advertising.


The metrics that matter to Viber

“What keeps users coming back to Viber is the fact that it’s a fun and seamless product that keeps them feeling connected with their loved ones and favorite brands,” said Danny Odes, Mobile Product Manager at Viber.

To understand what makes Viber more fun for their users, Danny looked to the data to get a holistic understanding of messaging patterns, and how they could potentially change the product to move the needle on their most important business drivers: engagement and retention.

When ever the product team makes changes to their platform, they look to the quantitative data to first test their hypotheses so they confidently roll out new features.

With user insights, Viber can make product decisions that improve user experience, so people spend more time in-app, make and receive more calls, and send and receive more messages, more frequently within the platform.

Mixpanel also helps them understand other KPIs such as average session length per user or cohorts of users, frequency of messages sent every day,week, or month, and the time it takes for a user to open the app and send their first message.

“I look to Mixpanel to tell us where we need to improve the user experience so people can truly express themselves on our platform,” Danny continued.

Mixpanel’s user insights gives the team concrete proof of  the most effective ways to change the platform in order to drive desired usage patterns, and  re-engage dormant users so they become more active. Over time, these product iterations amounted to a massive change to the user experience.

As a result, Viber has been able to build  one of the best-in-class platforms and give the next generation of authentic advertisers the tools they need to not only raise brand awareness, but turn one-way communications with a community into a two-way conversation.

Equipping every team member to make data-driven decisions

While Viber doesn’t send all its user data immediately to Mixpanel, it’s the primary way Viber’s data-driven teams conducts user behavior analysis. The user analytics platform slots in seamlessly with Viber’s larger data ecosystem.

“With Mixpanel, we can easily find the data and answer our own questions,” said Danny. “Mixpanel makes me feel more independent — and that’s amazing.”

By sampling billions of user events on the messaging platform and analyzing those events and properties through Mixpanel, the product team at Viber can discover usage patterns (e.g. calls made, calls received, etc.), identify drop off points in the product, and spot where in the product they can make changes to improve overall user experience.

“Viber needed a tool for the product managers to make quick and smart decisions. With Mixpanel, we get the answers we need to execute on our vision,” Danny.

Inside Viber’s  process of iterative development

The Viber team used Mixpanel to find out exactly how their users interacted with one core piece of the app: the keyboard within the app’s interface.

“With Insights, we saw how people were depending on the visible keyboard features and underusing the ones that were hidden within the menu. Because Mixpanel allowed us to track, test, and measure how different feature changes impacted overall usage, we started playing with which features we exposed and which ones we hid in the drop-down,” said Danny.

One by one, the team measured and swapped out stickers, the search icon, chat extensions, doodles, the gallery camera, and teddy bears— all of these buttons on the original keyboard design. Mixpanel Insights gave the team the ability to measure and see which buttons were most popular when users were texting their connections.

Then, the product team used Mixpanel’s A/B Testing feature to experiment the order in which the buttons appeared within the keyboard interface. Finally, they had uncovered the design that would have the most positive impact on key engagement metrics such as time spent in app, more frequent conversations, and speed to sending a message. Considered together, the new keyboard increased overall messaging by 15 percent.

But what’s important to remember is that global users didn’t just become more engaged on the Viber platform, but so did some of the world’s most influential brands. Coca-Cola the world’s largest beverage company, with over 500 brands and nearly 3,900 beverage choices, proved the thesis that Viber had the critical mass and solutions to drive the impact advertisers were looking for when engaging new target markets.

How Viber empowered Coca-Cola to drive a 30% conversion rate

For a global powerhouse like Coca-Cola, getting specific on advertising strategies for certain geographies becomes essential when maintaining brand equity, and ultimately, driving sales. Stefan Radov, Social Media Manager, at Coca-Cola, looked to Viber to reach consumers in Bulgaria, one of its target countries for increasing sales.

“Our strong fan base paired with Rakuten Viber’s active Bulgarian audience and captivating product suite made this program an instant success,” said Stefan.

In three months, Coca-Cola boosted its mobile footprint as a brand and interacted with current and new consumers by launching a public account, sticker packs with promo codes, and a Chatbot experience.

On an advertising platform like Viber, Coca-Cola didn’t just meet its customers where they chatted to raise brand awareness. The soft drink company also drove its viral “under-the-cap” sweepstakes where the brand’s chatbot distributed redemption codes, which drove people from online brand experiences to  offline purchases. In one quarter, Coca-Cola was able to drive more than 680,000 users to chatbot interactions on Viber, 29,000 “under-the-cap” code redemptions, and a 30% conversion rate.

Coca Cola’s  advertising campaign on Viber’s platform is significant not only because it allowed  Coca-Cola reach a key market in Bulgaria, but also because the platform helped drive a conversion rate that was 10x above the industry average.

In building a seamless user experience for Viber’s global users, the messaging platform gave rise to some of the most impactful advertising opportunities for the world’s most influential brands, including  Coca-Cola.

This is the primary reason why Viber has doubled down on its investments in user analytics. With an insights-driven approach, Viber has moved the needle on their most important business metrics by serving both their global community and their brand partners. Through their success, Viber proves that responsive messaging platforms will win in a new world of advertising, where brands will foster loyalty through true brand-to-consumer conversations that drive conversions.

Want to learn more about how Viber used Mixpanel to build a seamless messaging platform with user insights?  Read the full case study here. 

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