Buzzfeed have announced a new partnership with Viber as it launches a new ‘public chat’ channel. The Guardian and Techcrunch report that the focus will initially be on celebrity conversations, with users able to view and participate in live chats with the likes of Pixie Lott and Perez Hilton.
According to the Guardian report, ‘…BuzzFeed’s confirmed deal with Viber reflects the desire of messaging apps to become media distribution platforms in their own right, as well as the interest of media companies in using those apps to reach a young, hyper-engaged audience’.
StratageyEye who provide analysis of global technology markets also report on the deal, observing that, ‘the big mobile messaging apps are becoming social networks in their own right particularly among young people. For publications that want to reach this demographic, it’s essential they go where their target audience is. Even if younger people are the heaviest users, mobile messaging apps offer potentially massive audiences with Whatsapp recently topping 700m active users’.
Viber say this is not the opening of a new ad stream, however CEO of Viber, Talmon Marco told Techcrunch “Of course, you can put in an ad if you want for, say, Coca-Cola. But it’s your content, your chat, and we are never going to introduce things like that ourselves.”
Now go back and reread Nic Newmans predictions on the future of digitally born media companies and the move to advertising through sponsored content…interesting!