Amazon’s push into the services space continued today with the launch of Chime, a new online VoIP call and video messaging platform aimed at business users.
Apart from video conferencing and chat messaging, Amazon Chime allows users to host or join virtual meetings with a single click, and share content and screens across multiple platforms, including Mac, Windows, iOS and Android devices.
Amazon is pitching Chime as a more reliable, higher quality alternative to existing VoIP services like Microsoft’s Skype, with a focus on making core communications services – voice calls, video conferencing, screen sharing, and instant messaging – easily accessible within a unified interface.
“It’s pretty hard to find people who actually like the technology they use for meetings today,” said Gene Farrell, Vice President, Enterprise Applications at AWS in a press release. “Most meeting applications or services are hard to use, deliver bad audio and video, require constant switching between multiple tools to do everything they want, and are way too expensive.”
Amazon Chime is available for free in a basic version, which includes video calls for up to two people. Price plans for Chime start at $2.50 per month, with a higher tier plan of $15 per user for the addition of video and screen-sharing, among other features.
Amazon will hope that its new VoIP service can replicate the company’s success in the cloud services space, but challenges lie ahead. Whereas AWS built its dominance early on in a relatively nascent market, Chime goes up against established players from day one. Chime for Mac and iOS are available to download here.
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