In a time plagued with distance and separation because of the pandemic, technology’s ability to connect us is paramount. The internet makes commute and correspondence less dangerous whether it be for person or professional use. This leads to increased productivity and mental health. Karnataka’s deputy CM Ashwath Narayan stated that he hopes that post-COVID, telecommuting would be a permanent fixature. Working professionals have started using video conferencing apps to remain productive. Apps like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams had already carved out their niche and capitalised on the situation. During this, another app entered the fray. This was none other than Jio’s JioMeet App.
Created to rival American conferencing app Zoom, JioChat was born amidst the China app ban. It was launched the day before a ₹1.17 lakh crore fundraise for Reliance Jio Platforms over a nine-week span. Competition from JioMeet does not worry Zoom, according to their statement. They claim that they are the choice of millions across the world and understand what it takes to become the platform they are today. Jio’s platform will be competing with Zoom in India and hopes to grow beyond these borders.
JioMeet was launched on the 2nd of July and has already seen over 5 lakh downloads. It is not limited to desktop use, and can be employed on mobile phones as well. Both JioMeet and Zoom allow up to 100 users, but the caveat with Zoom is that it has a 40-minute limit. JioMeet’s larger calls can go on for up to 24 hours uninterrupted. JioMeet’s biggest USP is the lack of a cap on call time. This is, however, with regard to the free version of both platforms. While Zoom allows for up to 1000 users and 9 hosts on a call starting at ₹1,120 per month, JioMeet has yet to release a paid plan. Zoom also offers private rooms and spaces for online webinars.
Security and Features
JioMeet offers a lot of the same features that Zoom does – recording, shortcuts, and an active speaker layout among others. A difference, however, is that JioMeet does not allow guest users. What this means is that for someone to join a meeting, they compulsorily have to sign up for JioMeet. This eliminates potential spam and provides an extra blanket of security. Another facet of the security is JioMeet only allowing users from the host organisation to join, preventing potential espionage. Zoom uses end-2-end encryption whereas Jio’s platform has not specified in terms of encryption. Each meeting is however, password protected and uses waiting rooms to prevent users from joining without permission. So, citizens looking for an Indian alternate need not worry about their privacy.
The people’s support and use of local products seems to reflect their sentiment. JioMeet will likely expand its user base and grow to compete with Zoom on a more global scale. However, for now it remains popular mostly with the Indian populace. Investors for Reliance’s Jio Platform include Facebook, General Atlantic, KKR, and others. The increased capital Jio has implies that updates and advancements are underway. Jio has also launched a social media communication app – JioChat.
WhatsApp’s consumer base stands at about 46 crore users in India. JioChat would have to grow exponentially and find users across India to compete with them. With the emphasis of Make in India, this seems possible. The Indian market is a vast population and stands ripe for the taking. JioChat has over 4 lakh users and continues to grow.
Sources: Times of India, TechCrunch, Economic Times, Republic World, Hindustan Times, BGR Statistica, Business Today, GizBot, AllTechBuzz