Skype’s failure to innovate and execute properly has allowed Viber to become a viable replacement.
I’m impressed. I’ve been using Viber for quite some time and, by the looks of it, it will continue to be my application of choice to keep in touch with friends and family. Especially since it went on desktop.
You’ve probably already heard the news: 200 million users strong and counting, Viber just launched a beautifully simple app for PC and Mac.
Viber’s desktop app is everything that Skype used to be before Microsoft took charge. It gives you a truly minimalist, very usable interface that’s focused on one simple thing – staying in touch with those that matter.
Some five or six years ago, I absolutely loved Skype. It was the best way to communicate with my friends. They all had it. Messaging was cool. Voice calls were free and reliable. Even video calls were kind of good.
Then everything went completely wrong. Each update of Skype seemed to have more bugs and glitches than improvements. Someone decided to ruin its interface and clutter the app with stuff that nobody wants. The quality of both voice and video calls dropped noticeably.
Skype failed computers even before it tried going mobile.
Viber, on the other hand, went head-first for mobile. With its apparent focus on simplicity of communication, all my friends and colleagues loved it – and, more importantly, started using it all of the time.
Being less intrusive than Facebook when it comes to your privacy and countless times more user-friendly than Skype, it grabbed the perfect market share, necessary to go on desktop. Mobile first, desktop later.
Viber’s story bears some good morals for developers. The bold facts are that nowadays, computers are on their way to become an extension of mobile – and not the other way round, as it previously used to be.
Things have changed.