Calling and messaging app Viber said it has recorded an increase in usage in the Philippines as users turned to the app to stay connected amid the lockdown in Luzon and other parts of the country.
In the Philippines, messages sent increased by 120%, and the number of calls received by an average Viber user increased by 85% in the past weeks.
The average number of community engagement has also risen by 120%. The number of daily active Viber users as of last week of March has increased by 40%, while the number of new users registering in the app daily was 55% higher compared to the average.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Viber has increased its capacity and introduced new initiatives. The app has boosted the number of participants in audio calls from 5 to 20 people at a time.
Together with authorities, it has launched special communities in several countries where users can receive information about the pandemic. The Department of Health created the DOH PH Covid-19 Viber Community to disseminate verified information about the coronavirus to its over 1 million members.
The app has also launched an official WHO bot and is working with UNICEF U-Reports to deliver real-time updates and information about the coronavirus in multiple languages.
“During this challenging time, we are adapting and responding to help keep students and teachers, coworkers and partners, friends and families in constant contact with each other,” said Rakuten Viber CEO Djamel Agaoua. “Our users rely on us, and we will continue enhancing their experience while keeping people connected freely and safely.”