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Rakuten Viber Adds a Short Story Feature to its Chat App

The Kobo sister company Rakuten Viber launched a new storytelling feature on Monday. It’s called Shorts by Viber, and it will feature over 50 original, free stories told entirely through text messages that are revealed one line at a time, and are delivered via the Viber chat app.

From the evolution of the once-crisp paperback to audio books, everyone loves a good story. And in a world that seems to get busier and busier, having bite-sized stories available on mobile lets the reader escape any situation. Users can start as many Shorts as they like and explore love stories, comedies, thrillers, sci-fi and more. Shorts are an escape for story lovers on the go, whether on the ride home, hitting mile three on a stationary bike, or waiting for kickboxing class to start. It’s free and always there to help our readers take a Short break.

“We are excited to introduce readers to a new form of storytelling. Shorts by Viber will offer an entirely new perspective to on-the-go readers to consume content at their optimal convenience,” says Rakuten Viber Sr. Director of Growth, Nadav Melnick. “This will captivate audiences and immerse them in Shorts pertaining to horror, thriller, humor, romance, among others. It’s the next step in enhancing our users’ messaging experience.”

At launch, Shorts by Viber will support Viber Originals, which are a one-of-a-kind original stories from our team of writers, and licensed partner content, including stories from one of the largest eBooks retailers in the world, Rakuten Kobo, and their self-publishing platform Kobo Writing Life.

Shorts are available for US Viber users on iOS and Android through the Viber app.

Does anyone use the Viber app? (I’ve barely heard of it once or twice, mainly in connection with Rakuten, so obviously I’ve never used it.)  What did you think of the service?

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Danny September 26, 2019 um 7:50 am

I can’t speak for everyone, obviously, but when I read, it’s to escape. So the quality of immersion is extremely important to me. If I can’t get lost in a story, then it’s not doing a thing for me. The idea of having a story chopped up and delivered as yet another disruptive notification on my phone sounds antithetical to why I read in the first place.

Still, I thought I’d give it a try. Until I opened the apps page and in the Android store and saw it contained ads and in-app purchases. So I get to have my disjointed reading experience interrupted with flashing ads for products I’ll never buy? The price of admission is just too high for me.

Readers can’t Digest-Week 249 (25-Sep to 1-Oct) | September 30, 2019 um 5:32 pm

[…] 3. Rakuten Viber Adds a Short Story Feature to its Chat App […]

Ezgoer October 19, 2019 um 2:23 am

How can i delete Shorts from my chat

Chronia February 15, 2020 um 11:14 am

I’ve used viber for years. In app purchases are optional (it’s just to buy stickers), and the adds are not notifications or flashing. They are just a link added to your "chats" list, with nothing "screaming" look at me! And you can hide them once you see them. Often times I do not even realize they are there. Viber is a fun chat console for mobile and has better quality video chat than skype does. And it’s free. If you felt so included you could also pay to make actual phone calls (to people not on viber direct to their phone, mobile or landline). App to app vid calls are free though. There are also a ton of free sticker packs you can view and download. There are even multi-lingual sticker packs. It’s a great app. Desktop version is decent but it does have the flashing ads at the bottom of the chats list (not the conversation window) so they are easy to ignore (or remove with a quick hosts.ini hack). There is no access to the sticker market on the desktop version but you can sync all the sticker pack you have purchased on your mobile. Some sticker packs that are paid on mobile you also get free on desktop (i.e. Lana Lamb 2).
Over all it’s a 5 star imo, free and only purchases are not required to enjoy the app and does not affect functionality. I’ll have to give the story shorts feature a try as I have a hard time reading long books (reading disability) so it might let me enjoy reading in the capacity that I can manage.

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