Viber as religious video chat?

August 12, 2020

Viber is a cross-platform video chat operated by Japanese company Rakuten. However, this platform was developed in Israel, and it has a large representation of users from the ranks of Jews and Christians. This phenomenon results in the heavy use of this program due to the coronavirus pandemic. Representatives of both religions using Viber for live streams of lectures from the church.

Viber also connected Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Archbishop leronymos of Athens. He thanked for church support in the communal effort, and they discussed coronavirus restrictions, including the ban of in-person church services open to the public. The Archbishop understands this decision and supports the Prime Minister’s judgment. The church services are now available only via the internet and mainly on Viber. 

Viber announced they would do everything to smooth connection and support for the whole religious community. The project is part of the Digital Ministry’s ‘Digital Solidarity’ initiative and part of the government’s greater efforts to digitize.

Viber during the pandemic crisis

That is not a unique case. Whole Viber activity raised fourfold, and the most popular feature now is group calls and group chats. All numbers broke the all-time Top. For example, last month, Viber reported an increase of 134% sent messages compared to January. Viber is trying to increase people’s mental health and support projects like the Washington Post. Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp also reported an increase of daily users and all of them trying to fight the Covyd-19 pandemic through informal messaging. 

Viber started a campaign “stay at home” where you got new stickers. Then most of the webs started the project with WHO (World Health Organisation) with the goal to stop false information about coronavirus. They have developed a chatbot that will fight all misinformations that are rising. The chatbot is in English, Arabic, and Russian. They also announced another 20 languages for a chatbot. Our advice is to report all false information about this pandemic.

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