Viber Chatbot (Viber Bot) pricing underwent a major change in September 2022. If you currently use Viber for business or are planning to, you’re probably wondering how these changes will affect your business. Read on to learn about Viber business pricing, terms and use cases.
Viber Bot Pricing: An Introduction
It’s always been free to sign up for a Viber Chatbot, and this will remain free. The only initial setup charges for businesses are the cost of connecting to a messaging platform like respond.io so they can receive and answer messages from customers as bots don’t have an interface.
In the past, businesses could send any number of messages for free. Unlike other messaging apps, Viber didn’t have a messaging window, so the lack of restrictions made it an attractive option for businesses. This is no longer the case. Let’s take a look at the new terms.
How the Viber Chatbot Notification Based Model Works
In September 2022, Viber Chatbots switched to a new notification-based pricing model, separated into Chatbot Session Messages and Chatbot-Initiated Messages.
Viber Chatbot Session Messages are part of a customer-initiated conversation, and they are always free. Once a customer initiates a conversation, you can send unlimited replies for free within 24 hours of their first message. Messages sent after the 24-hour session are considered chatbot-initiated.
Viber Chatbot-initiated Messages are messages sent from a chatbot to a subscriber that is not part of an active messaging session. Businesses can now only send 10,000 chatbot-initiated messages per month for free.
Consider whether the majority of business messages you send are of an outbound, promotional nature, or inbound, as replies to inquiries. If they’re in the former category, you may be at risk of going over the chatbot-initiated message limit.
The changes will probably not have an impact on smaller businesses. If your business sends fewer than 10,000 messages per month, you can continue sending messages for free at any time as usual.
Larger businesses will need to become familiar with how messaging sessions work and understand the Viber Chatbot Commercial Terms, which apply to any business sending messages above the free limit.
Viber Chatbot Commercial Terms
After the first 10,000 chatbot-initiated messages, a business will not be able to send any more messages for free. To continue sending messages, it will need to agree to the Viber Chatbot Commercial Terms and pay per message.
But the new terms are not all bad news. Signing up for the commercial model will get your business verified by Viber, which means you’ll be searchable on Viber. That makes it easier for customers to find and message you.
To sign up for the commercial model, businesses need to connect with a Viber partner. Respond.io is now a Viber partner, so you can contact us to discuss your additional chatbot-initiated messaging needs.
Viber Chatbot Commercial Pricing
To continue sending messages beyond the 10,000 limit, the business must make a minimum prepayment to the partner, billed in USD, EUR or GBP. Messaging costs are deducted from the prepaid amount.
The cost per message rate varies by the destination country. Note that the vast majority of countries are in the Rest of the World (ROTW) category, with rates of €0.0137/£0.012/$0.014 per message.
If a business sends more messages than the prepayment covers, it can top it up with an additional payment.
Each bot can send messages to no more than 30 countries. If your business operates in multiple countries, you may want to set up a bot for each country.
Viber Bot Pricing: Setting Up Additional Bots
For some businesses, setting up additional bots may be a way to reduce charges. Each of these bots is allowed 10,000 free chatbot-initiated messages per month.
You could create a bot for each operating region within a country or each store if you run a chain or franchise. That way, each region or store will have 10,000 free messages. Connect all your bots to respond.io so you can still manage your messages in one place.
Viber Bot Pricing: Example Use Cases
Now that you know how the new Viber Chatbot pricing system works, let’s look at a few common use cases for Viber Chatbots and how the new pricing affects them.
Viber Bot Pricing: Welcome Messages
Welcome messages are a one-time, automatic greeting to new subscribers to your chatbot. These are completely free. You can use a welcome message for general greetings, to provide new subscriber offers or to ask questions to qualify leads.
Since welcome messages don’t count towards your monthly limit, make the most of them to get a conversation going. Encourage subscribers to message you so they’ll start a messaging session. This will help keep your messaging costs down.
Viber Bot Pricing: Customer Support Messages
If your business mainly uses Viber for customer support, there’s a good chance that most of your messages will be inside a messaging session. If the customer initiates the conversation, your replies are free for the next 24 hours.
This is a good incentive for support agents to respond to and resolve issues quickly. If an agent takes more than 24 hours to get back to the customer and the session expires, the next message counts towards the business’ 10,000 message limit.
Viber Bot Pricing: Bulk Promotional Messages
Large businesses that frequently broadcast promotional messages to thousands of customers may be the most impacted by the pricing change. Broadcast messages clearly fall into the chatbot-initiated message category.
That means if you have 10,500 customers on your list and you send a promotional message to all of them, you would be over your monthly limit. 500 messages would not be sent, and you would need to sign up for the Viber commercial plan to send them.
If you are under the Viber commercial plan already, you would be charged for 500 messages.
Will your business be affected by the new Viber pricing? As Respond.io is a Viber partner, contact us to discuss the Viber Chatbot commercial terms or see how we can make messaging easier for you.
Interested in learning more about using Viber for Business? Read these articles.