Rakuten Viber Adds New Inbox for Keeping Business and Personal Chats Separate

The Viber chat app, owned by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, is gaining new features to help its users separate out business messages from day-to-day chats with friends. The new Business Inbox, announced by Rakuten Monday, will organize and filter messages from delivery services, banks, stores or similar commercial businesses. 

The new inbox will appear after a user either receives their first business message or after the app gets updated with the feature. Once the Business Inbox appears, it will act like a folder for these notes. Business chats can also be moved out of the folder if a user prefers to keep them on the main page.

The Business Inbox arrives alongside the ability to search for commercial accounts, which Viber says will allow people to find a business from the app’s main search bar. Much like using Google Maps or Yelp, finding a commercial account will bring up a page with a business’s address, phone number, contact information and texting link through the Viber app.

While Viber doesn’t have a US presence that matches up to Apple’s iMessage or Meta’s WhatsApp, the texting app has over one billion active users globally as of March 2020, according to the Statista consumer data portal.

Such business-oriented features are similar to those also offered by Viber’s chat app rivals like WhatsApp and WeChat, both of which provide features geared toward letting its users message businesses alongside personal contacts.

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