As part of its fourth quarter results announcement today, Reliance Jio said it plans to launch the JioMeet video conferencing service. The service, though, has been live on smartphones for a while now, but sources say that it was more like a beta period for the app. Given the proliferation of video chat and conferencing platforms, Jio seems to be getting ready to capitalise on the same. The company is now planning a nationwide launch for the service.
Based on the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page on the JioMeet website, the app can allow group calling for up to 100 participants. While it’s unclear whether Jio plans to make changes to such features, 100 participants is what viral collaboration platform Zoom allows on its free tier. Like Zoom, it seems that JioMeet is also meant for both consumer and enterprise customers. The app’s user guide shows steps to start “VC Room Meetings", which is a feature only apps that are meant for enterprise use cases would have. Features like this are usually required only for enterprise customers.
If it does launch JioMeet soon, the company will have to take care of how it protects user privacy, since competitors like Zoom and Houseparty have come under fire for such lapses.
When it officially launches, JioMeet will be competing against platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex and more on the enterprise front, while on the consumer end services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger Chatrooms, Houseparty, Google Duo and others will be worth watching.
With the covid-19 pandemic forcing people indoors, video conferencing apps have gone viral worldwide. The biggest winner by far has been Zoom, whose market value shot up to over $31 billion thanks to an increased user base. Jio, of course, could capitalise on the fact that it already has over 50 million subscribers for its telecom services and could capitalise on the same to increase its user base initially.
The Indian government had earlier announced a nationwide challenge, asking developers to build an indigenous solution for video conferencing. The government also announced a Rs. 1 crore award for the winner of this challenge.