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Amazon launches Chime, a video conferencing and communications service for business

Posted Feb 13, 2017 by Jon Russell (@jonrussell)
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Amazon hints at Prime sales in latest filing

Amazon has taken the wraps off of its own Skype competitor. Chime is a new video conferencing and communications from AWS that’s focused on business users.

Beyond VoIP calling and video messaging, Chime includes virtual meetings, allowing users to host or join a remote meeting through the service. Pricing starts at $2.50 per user per month on the lowest end, with a higher tier plan of $15 per user which includes video and screen-sharing among other features. There is a basic option available for free but that is limited to video calls and chat rooms between two users.

Chime is available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android devices.

TechCrunch first reported that Amazon was planning this new service in November, when we wrote that the firm had acquired patents and staff from San Francisco-based Biba Systems, a startup behind video messaging apps aimed at business users.

The move is not only an alternative to communication services like Skype for business or Google Hangouts, but it is also takes AWS into the space of virtual meeting management, where companies like GoToMeeting and Cisco (WebEx) are the best known players.

“It’s pretty hard to find people who actually like the technology they use for meetings today. 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,” Gene Farrell, Vice President of enterprise applications at AWS, said in a statement.

AWS is already a formidable player in cloud services, as TechCrunch enterprise reporter Ron Miller explained this week, but Chime pushes it into the services space to help strengthen its grip on customers as competition increases. Microsoft, Google and even new entrants like Alibaba are making big pushes to nab customers from AWS, which remains a key performer for Amazon financially.

Featured Image: Lisa Werner/Moment Mobile/Getty Images
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Crunchbase

  • Amazon

    • Founded 1994
    • Overview Amazon is an e-commerce retailer formed originally to provide consumers with products in two segments. It offers users with merchandise and content purchased for resale from vendors and those offered by third-party sellers. Operating in North American and International markets, Amazon provides its services through websites such as amazon.com and amazon.ca. It also enables authors, musicians, filmmakers, …
    • Location Seattle, Washington
    • Categories Crowdsourcing, E-Commerce, Internet, Delivery, Retail, Software
    • Founders Jeff Bezos
    • Website http://amazon.com
    • Full profile for Amazon
  • Amazon Web Services

    • Founded 2006
    • Overview Amazon Web Services provides information technology infrastructure services to businesses in the form of web services. Its products and solutions include cloud computing, compute, networking, storage and content delivery, databases, analytics, application services, deployment and management, mobile services, applications, AWS marketplace software, startups, enterprises, partners, government and education, …
    • Location Seattle, Washington
    • Categories Web Development, Software, Information Technology, Information Services
    • Website http://aws.amazon.com
    • Full profile for Amazon Web Services
  • Amazon Echo

    • Description Amazon Echo is designed around your voice.
    • Website http://www.amazon.com/oc/echo/
    • Full profile for Amazon Echo
  • Chime

    • Founded 2013
    • Overview Chime is a notification center for your browser. Chime gathers all your notifications from a plethora of web services and brings them to you in one place.
    • Location Toronto, Ontario
    • Categories Internet, Browser Extensions, Web Browsers
    • Founders Fahd Ananta, Guru Mahendran, Thariq Shihipar
    • Website http://chimeapp.com
    • Full profile for Chime
  • Chime

    • Founded 2014
    • Overview With Chime, you create video conversations, "Chimes", with friends, family, teams, and any small group that you care about. Everyone in a conversation ("Chime") can record to it throughout the day, creating one rich, intertwined group story that serves as both a way to communicate about what you're doing now and, afterward, as a memory.
    • Location San Francisco, California
    • Categories Internet, Messaging, Video
    • Founders Jared Morgenstern
    • Website http://www.chimewith.us
    • Full profile for Chime

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