Viber Messenger can now play YouTube videos inside its chat windows, as revealed by the changelog of the latest update for the popular instant messaging (IM) app. The newly added feature ships with update version 126.96.36.199 that started rolling out on the Google Play Store on Wednesday and should soon be available for download worldwide if it isn’t already. The functionality is similar to related features of WhatsApp and other IM apps that previously added support for playing YouTube videos; once someone posts a YouTube link in chat, Viber will automatically display a thumbnail previewing the contents of the clip, and tapping the tile activates a pop-up window in which the video starts playing. From here, users are able to move the pop-up window, activate its full-screen mode, or close it, all with a single tap.
Apart from better integrating YouTube into Viber, the latest update for the popular IM app also debuts an online status system that will let you know exactly when your Viber contacts were last using the app. The timestamp appears below the name of your contact in the upper left corner of the chat interface, meaning the feature itself is virtually identical to the “Last Seen” indicator boasted by WhatsApp. Finally, Viber Messenger update 188.8.131.52 also ships with a number of bug fixes and tweaks meant to improve the overall user experience of the app, though the changelog detailing the update doesn’t reveal what specific bugs have been fixed in the latest build. Regardless, interested users can download the new version of Viber Messenger by following the Google Play Store link beneath this writing and refer to the gallery beneath it to see how the app’s latest features look in practice.
The addition of expanded YouTube support marks yet another major update for Viber Messenger that was recently ennobled with a wide variety of new functionalities, many of which weren’t exclusively focused on messaging. Instead, Viber’s developers are still pursuing the strategy of evolving their service past a simple messaging tool, not unlike what Facebook is doing with Messenger. Time will tell whether that approach ends up being profitable in the end, but more information on the matter will likely follow soon.