The privacy-focused Brave browser wants to directly take on Zoom with it’s new video conferencing featured baked right into the browser itself. Dubbed as Brave Talk, it is touted as a secure and hassle-free video calling method, hinging on the fact that you don’t need to download any additional apps or extensions to use it, nor do you need to sign up or provide any email address unless you opt for the premium version.
Brave is calling the new Talk feature’s lack of data collection or tracking as “unlinkability”, meaning that there’s no data during calls that can be linked back to you. The encrypted platform is based on the open-source Jitsi as a Service from provider 8×8. The company’s policy states that after a video call has ended, your computer’s IP address and URL link is deleted — while chats will be temporarily cached for the duration of the meeting.
One of the biggest features is that Talk is (partially) supported on other browsers. While at least one person needs to have the Brave browser installed to start the call, other users can join the call through a link that works on third-party browsers such as Edge, Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. It’s free to use with no time limits for one-on-one calls but for group video conferencing, this requires users to purchase the premium plan for USD$7 (~RM30) per month.
The video call platform has actually been in beta since May 2020 and Brave told TechCrunch that Talk already has about 14,000 daily active beta users. Aside from allowing group calls with hundreds of participants, the premium tier also enables call recordings, participant muting, and entry pass codes. The iOS and Android version of the Brave browser also comes with the premium version of Talk, with the free version coming in a few weeks.