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Text and shop: You will soon be able to browse for stuff within the Viber app

Why it matters to you

The new shopping feature is Viber's way of hoping people spend more time within the app,

You can talk, you can text, and now, you can shop, all within Viber. The instant messaging and VoIP app is the latest to adopt the trend of allowing for more and more in-app activity to take place. Already, a number of similar messaging platforms have made it easy for users to send money, purchase goods, and otherwise live their lives without ever leaving the app.

Viber’s new “instant shopping” feature will allow you to search for goods within the application and is slated to become available to U.S. users on March 6 in beta. Users in other countries will see a rollout take place throughout the rest of the year. Upon launch, you will be able to shop on Macys.com and also Rakuten.com — Rakuten is the company that owns Viber, so this may be an interesting experiment as to how the company’s various holdings can benefit one another.

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More ecommerce marketplaces are expected to become available ahead of the March debut.

We should point out, however, that unlike apps like WeChat, you cannot actually buy an item within Viber. Once you found something worth opening your wallet for, you have to head to the third-party seller to complete the transaction. The end goal, however, a spokesperson told Venturebeat, is to make the entire experience native to the messaging app.

“Messaging is just starting its journey on mobile devices,” Viber CEO Djamel Agaoua said. “By adding ecommerce capabilities, Viber is bringing a solution for mobile shoppers to share their passion with the people that matter to them in a couple of taps. This is just the first step in a very exciting journey we’re about to take with our users, and it’s only going to get better as we add more partners and gather more feedback.”