Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? It's back in a new way. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? It's back in a new way. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? It's back in a new way. (Photo: Wanphen Chawarung / Shutterstock)

How one business is keeping the Ice Bucket Challenge alive

Viber is helping to take the mega-popular ALS fundraising campaign to a new level.

After the hoopla around the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket challenge subsided, American organizations associated with the disease had to figure out a way to sustain the momentum and keep the conversation going. Looking for a way to recreate the sensation and take the initiative to a more global and mobile audience, one of the main U.S. organizations fighting ALS (which stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), the ALS Therapy Development Institute (TDI), reached out to upstart messaging service Viber for help. Not long after, a partnership was born.

Founded in 2010 by Israeli entrepreneurs Talmon Marco and Igor Magazinnik, and headquartered in the country's tech hub, Tel Aviv, Viber has amassed 711 million users globally. Last year it opened its first office in the United States, in Boston, which is where the ALS drive began.

"We kicked off the partnership by launching the Viber ALS Public Chat and created a customized ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Viber Sticker Pack," Scott Nelson, the head of Viber North America, told From The Grapevine.

A section of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Viber Sticker PackA section of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Viber Sticker Pack (Photo: Viber)

The Public Chat is a perfect example of why ALS TDI came to Viber – because of its community-driven ethos. Members of a Public Chat can communicate with one another in an ongoing conversation. Each Chat is open to the public, so even if you're not a member, you're privy to its content. This and its unique "stickers" – think graphic emoticons – were integral to the launch of the Viber/ALS venture.

"Through the Public Chat, ALS TDI is able to speak to a large global audience, giving users real facts, real stories and information about real strides the institute is making," explained Nelson.

Since its launch, the ALS Public Chat has attracted more than 1.6 million followers, making it one of the most followed Public Chats around the world.

The stickers have been a hit as well. "The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Viber Sticker Pack has been shared over 10 million times, keeping the ALS story on everyone's radar on a daily basis," Nelson told us.

Such success in so short a time is something to be proud of, and as Viber becomes ever more popular, the ALS community is set to benefit greatly.

Said Nelson, "Users help drive engagement and word of mouth. The conversation is continuing to grow."

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