Viber, the popular messaging app acquired by Rakuten early this year, has just been updated with support for Public Chats.
As opposed to private group chats, Public Chats, as their name suggests, are group conversations that are visible to anyone.
In regard to Public Chats, Viber makes a clear distinction between two types of users: participants and followers.
Participants are the ones who are engaged in conversation in Public Chats, sending messages to the group. Followers, on the other hand, are the ones who can see messages, view information about chats, and like content, but cannot contribute messages or edit information themselves.
To start following Public Chats, check out the new Public Chats tab in Viber. There you can explore chats across a variety of topics. For now, chats appear to be limited to participants who are celebrities in their respective rights, including the pictured Pixie Lott, Perez Hilton, and Tyler Oakley.
At the moment, there also appears to be no straightforward way to create new Public Chats, with Viber advising those who wish to do so to email email@example.com. In any case, a Public Chat can accommodate up to 100 participants, and new participants may be added to existing chats by current participants.