Brave Software is rolling out a series of upgrades for its privacy-focused video conferencing service, Brave Talk.
As explained in a new blog post, the headline addition is a new browser extension that allows users to attach Brave Talk links to Google Calendar invitations, in the same way as they might with Google Meet. The idea is to give people a simpler way to integrate Brave Talk into their regular working routine.
Beyond the browser extension, the company has also expanded the free version of its video conferencing service, which now supports unlimited video calls for up to four participants (up from two).
The premium version (costing $7/month), meanwhile, has received a number of new business-centric features as part of the update, from breakout rooms to emoji reactions, attendee polls and advanced moderation facilities.
Brave tackles video conferencing
Brave is perhaps best known for its web browser of the same name, which blocks both ads and tracking cookies, but the company is expanding rapidly in new product areas. For example, there’s now a Brave VPN, firewall, crypto wallet, news aggregator and search engine, all of which are said to be optimized for privacy.
Pitched as an alternative to video conferencing services operated by the likes of Microsoft and Google, Brave Talk is another member of this growing portfolio.
“Unlike other video conferencing providers, which can involve collecting and sharing user data without adequate transparency and control, Brave Talk is designed to not share user information or contacts by default,” Brave states.
“Brave Talk is designed to serve you, not track you, and is designed for unlinkability [whereby there is nothing that links a participant to a call]. This privacy protection carries through to the Google Calendar extension.”
For Google Workspace customers at least, the ability to add a Brave Talk link to a Google Calendar entry with ease will minimize the friction involved in switching service, a crucial factor in accelerating adoption.
The extension of the free service to include unlimited calls for up to four people, meanwhile, will make Brave Talk a perfectly viable option for anyone in need of a video conferencing service for occasional personal use.
The main caveat is that Brave Talk calls can only be hosted by someone that uses the Brave browser, which currently holds a comparatively tiny share of the market. The ability for Brave Talk to challenge the likes of Microsoft and Google in the video conferencing market, then, is tied to whether the company is able to challenge the same two rivals in the browser space too.
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Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.