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Wednesday, Nov 13th

Viber launches Africa's first Public Chats

Viber launches Africa's first Public Chats.

Messaging and calling app Viber announced today that it has opened its latest social channel 'Public Chats' to partners in Africa and the Middle East.

Public Chats are live discussions that Viber users can follow, like and share with their community.

Viber promised a new social experience for brands, organisations, celebrities, public figures and social influencers who it says will now join Viber's global platform to reach a local and regional audience.

Mark Hardy, CMO at Viber elaborated on the decision to launch in this region. "The Middle East and Africa are important markets for Viber, and we are pleased to welcome local influencers and brands to our Public Chats platform. We are sure they will enjoy chatting, commenting and debating live on this active social channel whilst sharing tips, news, and local content to our constantly connected mobile audience across the region."

Viber says it has selected partners in Africa, at Pan-African level and in key markets such as South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Egypt, who have joined Public Chats for the regional launch in a bid to be the first players to offer local conversations on Viber.

Users can now start to follow them from the Viber Public Chats explore page.

One of those who joined Public Chats is internationally acclaimed Senegalese singer and composer Youssou NDour. "The Viber Public Chats channel will enable my fans to follow in real time my music and artistic activities; it will also represent an opportunity for me to engage in discussions designed to forge a peaceful and open world."

Cindy Pivacic, an HIV activist is another one of the influencers. "Viber Public Chats represent an ideal platform for spreading messages and debating HIV issues."

African ecommerce platform Jumia recently opened Public Chats in Egypt and Nigeria and were one of the first partners to join the new social channel in the Middle East and Africa.

Jeremy Doutte, CEO of Jumia said his company is excited about the partnership. "As new African customers discover the Internet first through their mobile, we want to address them wherever they are. Viber is a mobile first company with an outstanding reach in Africa. Jumia is also a mobile first company and the first online shopping destination in Africa. Joining forces will enable both Viber and Jumia to deliver quality content and good vibes to our users."

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