Brave is launching its own video chat tool called Brave Talk, which it says is a more private alternative to Zoom. The company already makes an ad-blocking browser and recently launched its own privacy-oriented search tool as well.
Brave Talk enables users to encrypt their video chats, and the company says it doesn't store metadata from calls, unlike other video providers. "Connecting with colleagues and friends through video conferencing channels is now the norm, and as users become increasingly aware of online privacy concerns, there is a growing need for a privacy-first option," Brave CEO Brendan Eich said in a statement.
Zoom has faced persistent criticism over its own privacy and security safeguards, initially claiming that meetings were end-to-end encrypted last year, before acknowledging that in fact, they were not. Zoom did eventually launch end-to-end encryption last fall.
But Brave is hoping to capitalize on its existing customer base of 36 million users, who will be able to launch Brave Talk straight from their browsers, without adding any additional apps. The videoconferencing tool also offers features that allow users to watch videos together simultaneously and livestream YouTube. Brave has been testing the tool since last May. One-on-one chats are free and not capped by the length of the call, as they are on Zoom; group calls for three or more participants cost $7 a month.