Australian Council on Children and the Media

Viber - Viber Media S.a.r.l.

app image

Short takes

Viber is a social media networking app.

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No gambling content found in the levels played

This review of Viber was completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 November 2014.

About the app

This section contains details about the app provided by an ACCM Reviewer.

Name of app: Viber
Developed by: Viber Media S.a.r.l.
Platform reviewed: Apple App Store, Google Play
Cost: Free
Developer’s suggested age: Google Play: Medium Maturity. Apple Store: 4+ years
ACCM suggested age: 16+ in app purchasing and public chat rooms.
Gambling content advice: No gambling content found in the levels played

ACCM review

This review of Viber contains the following information:

The level to which the game was reviewed

There are no levels within this app, but it was reviewed for 1.5 hours.

App description

Viber is a social networking app that allows users to share text, video and photographs with other users.  The app is not a game but users may use the app to connect to their existing contacts, as well as other unknown individuals from across the world.

Reviewers comments

Viber is an app that allows people to connect to their contacts and strangers across the globe, for free via a WiFi or 3G connection. The app contains an option known as ViberOut, which allows users to make calls and send texts to non-Viber landlines or mobiles at a reduced rate.

When first opened, this app brings up a welcome message, offering a textbox that states ‘Free messages and calls to other Viber users. Your phone number is your ID. Your contacts are already here.’ After clicking the continue button, players are prompted to select their country and enter their mobile phone number. Players are then asked to confirm if this is their correct phone number, and that an access code will be sent via SMS. Players must then enter this code in order to enter Viber. After entering the access code, players are promoted to enter their name and also add a photograph of themselves. They may elect to use their Facebook details in order to quickly do this, by signing in with an existing Facebook account. It is possible to take a new photograph, or to select an existing one from a player's device.

Players are then brought to a central home page. The app indicates that no messages have been presently received for the user but offers a list of existing contacts that already have Viber accounts – it recommends sending them a free message. It contains the names of individuals, as well as photographs of them.

The app contains a number of menu tabs along the top and bottom of the screen – the first is the Messages tab, where users can compose free messages. The second is the Contacts tab, containing an alphabetized list of all phone contacts a user has on their device already. They may opt to search for a contact, add a new contact, or view other settings from this contacts page. From the settings option, players are encouraged to ‘Share your Viber experience’ via one of the social media websites – Twitter, Facebook, Gmail or SMS. There is an option to go to a Sticker Market, which allows players to purchase stickers to send with their Viber messages. These range in price from free sticker packages, to paid sticker packages of $2.49. The third tab is a telephone caller – this allows users to make calls to their contacts or enter new phone numbers via a keypad and to view their call history. The fourth tab is a Public Chat option – this is described as ‘a place where one or more people can send messages that the whole world can see’. After clicking on an Explore button within this section, users are taken to a newsfeed of various threads to follow – these range from users being able to follow individual musical artists, modelling advice chat rooms, etc.

There is also a Settings menu that contains options to alter components such as Privacy, Notifications, Calls and Messages, Media and Chat background.

In App purchasing

Yes: The Sticker Market contains stickers that can be purchased with real-life money. Although there are some free sticker packages, some cost $2.49.

Online information

The entire app is a means of connecting with existing contacts, enabling users to send messages and make calls to people they wish to communicate with. There is also a public chat option that enables communication with individuals from across the world, in addition to the options of being able to connect via existing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Gmail.

Gambling

No gambling content present during the review.

Coarse language

Individuals may share private messages of an inappropriate nature with their contacts , without this being moderated in any way.

Game playing behaviour which may be of concern to some parents

This is a social media app and not a game. Parents are advised to discus family rules about appropriate use and information sharing in social media.

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About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age

Gambling content advice

Simulated casino style gambling. Not suitable for minors

Contains some elements of gambling. Some content is not recommended for minors. Parental guidance recommended

No gambling content found in the levels played

About games and gambling

Most games contain elements of risk, chance and knowledge, that is why they are fun to play. There is growing concern about the impacts of simulated gambling games on the health and wellbeing of children. That's why we are identifying games that contain gambling elements on our site.

The State Government of South Australia's web site http://nogame.com.au/ contains information about these concerns.