On Thursday evening, the firm — backed by Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man — formally launched JioMeet, its video-conference service that looks uncannily like Zoom. At a time where India has been pushing for “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India ), this made in India application is sure going to turn some waves!
Like Zoom and Google Meet, JioMeet offers an unlimited number of free calls in high definition (720p) to users and supports as many as 100 participants on a call. But interestingly, it appears to not impose a short time limit on a call’s duration. Jio Platforms says a free call can be uninterrupted for “up to 24 hours” long. The service currently has no paid plans and it’s unclear if Jio Platforms, which has a reputation of giving away services for free for years, plans to change that.
Jio Platforms, which began beta testing JioMeet in May this year, said the video conferencing service offers “enterprise-grade” host controls. These include password protection on each call, multi-device login support (up to five devices), and the ability to share screen and collaborate.
Other features include the ability to switch “seemingly” from one device to another, and a ‘Safe Driving Mode’ for when a participant is in commute. Hosts can also enable a ‘waiting room’ to ensure participants have to ask for permission to enter a call.
The company did not provide any more details, including whether people outside of India could use the service. On its website, JioMeet claims all the meetings are “encrypted” but does not elaborate whether these calls are end-to-end encrypted.
JioMeet is available for use through Chrome and Firefox browsers on desktop, as well as has standalone apps for macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. It also has an Outlook plugin.
JioMeet will allow teachers to host virtual classrooms for their students, with the ability to record sessions, assign and accept homework, and conduct tests digitally.
JioPlatforms, which is India’s top telecom operator with about 400 million customers, operates a number of digital services including JioMusic, a music streaming service; JioCinema, which offers thousands of TV shows and movies; and JioTV, which allows users to watch more than 500 TV channels. All of these services are available at no additional charge to Jio Platforms subscribers. It costs less than $2 a month to be a Jio subscriber.
Will JioMeet take on ZOOM? I certainly think it will! Let me know what you guys think in the comments below! And, it goes without saying, stay safe everyone.