Amazon Rings Into the Online Meeting Market with New “Chime” Conferencing App

Posted by at 6:03 pm on February 14, 2017

Amazon is starting to cater to specific niches within the business market. The latest of those is video and voice chat.

Today, Amazon launched Chime. It’s a “unified communications service” which is meant to make having a meeting with lots of people around the world as easy as possible. In other words, it’s a direct competitor with Skype and Google Hangouts, and a major blow to any company offering an expensive enterprise-focused meeting software/service.

Amazon Chime focuses on simplicity, stating that video and voice chat meetings can be started with a single click or screen tap. It’s one app that works everywhere: desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone, and you can switch between them seamlessly if, for example, you need to leave your desk. There’s also screen sharing, chat rooms, remote desktop control, the ability to record meetings, meeting URLs to make inviting attendees as simple as possible, and no more forgetting to attend because Chime calls you when a meeting starts.

There’s three Amazon Chime plans, which vary in the features they offer. The Basic Plan is free, but limits meetings to two users either using video or voice calls and doesn’t allow screen sharing. A Plus Plan unlocks screen sharing, chat rooms, and allows message histories of up to 1GB to be stored, all for $2.50 per user per month. Then there’s the Pro Plan, which costs $15 per user per month. Pro is for larger businesses, offering meetings with up to 100 attendees, meeting recording, and conference room video system support.

While squarely aimed at business users, the free Basic Plan will allow two people to chat using Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android devices. And depending on how popular Chime turns out to be, there’s nothing to stop Amazon expanding the subscription options with some more consumer-friendly tiers down the line.

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