Speaking at the Mobile World Congress 2018 conference, the general director of Rakuten (owns Viber) Hiroshi Mikitani announced a new kind of group chat in the messenger. They can accommodate at the same time more than a billion people: the number of interlocutors is limited only by the number of registered users in Viber.
The company was supposed to officially present the function only on March 2, but the CEO Rakuten disclosed the details in advance during the speech at MWC 2018.
A new kind of chat was called “Community” (Community). In them, users will be able to interact with comments and reactions, and group administrators will be able to monetize chat rooms with the help of Rakuten partners.
As noted by the publication TechCrunch, this is similar to the same principles that work in the case of public chats and public accounts in Viber. Users can not freely communicate in such groups, but they can react to records by the likes.
Mikitani noted that earlier the company did not launch such chats, because it was “technically demanding” to create a group where users can subscribe, respond to records and moderate the chat. “Communities” will give moderators and administrators more control to resolve issues.
To show the preview function Mikitani included a dialogue with the Spanish soccer player Gerard Piquet. Perhaps this was not the best example of a large-scale function: about 300 people signed up for the page instead of billions, or at least millions of users.
Other instant messengers, such as WhatsApp or Facebook, support a maximum of several hundred people in group chats. The closest rival Viber in this regard is Telegram, which supports up to 100 thousand people in the group chat mode.