Jive just acquired Meetings.io, being the first distinct WebRTC acquisition.
Acquisitions around WebRTC have started. A bit too early I think, making things very interesting in this space. Less than two weeks after TokBox acquisition by Telefonica, Meetings.io gets acquired by Jive.
Up until this week, I haven’t known a lot about Jive, but I had my own experiences with dealing with social enterprise platforms – which is what Jive offers.
With TokBox, I don’t think the focus of the acquisition was WebRTC but rather the APIs they offered and the developer community that they have amassed already – this can be easily seen by the emphasis placed since the acquisition on the figure of 5,000 businesses using the platform (most do so with Flash at the moment).
Jive made it pretty clear why they are acquiring Meetings.io on their website:
JIVE, IN REAL TIME: Jive acquires Meetings.io. Because social business only gets better face to face and in real time.
This one is all about WebRTC. Social platforms live in the web – they use it as their only interface to their user base (I am ignoring mobile here on purpose). As such, the only way for them to offer video chat is by employing WebRTC.
Meetings.io was a startup company that wanted to be Google Hangouts without the Google part of it. In a way, what they offered was a simple multipoint video conferencing solution: a full service offering. Through the acquisition of Jive, they are going to be “downgraded” into a level of a feature/capability within the Jive platform. I consider it a good thing.
My takeaway from this move by Jive?
- WebRTC is here to stay. As time goes by, the amount of skepticism that is seen (especially from the UC and enterprise video conferencing camps) is going to diminish. WebRTC is becoming a real player in the collaboration market.
- The companies that are embracing WebRTC are not VoIP companies, who are going to be disrupted, but rather web centric companies.
- Jive is web centric. Had nothing to do with VoIP, but is now going to offer such a service by employing WebRTC through this acquisition
- Twilio and Voxeo, who are early entrants to WebRTC are NOT VoIP companies though they do have VoIP – they both web centric in their offerings and interface
- Voice and video are slowly but surely shifting from a status of services and products into a status of features. Expect to see more acquisitions and mash ups of this kind where voice and video communication is added to an existing platform.
- There is value for asynchronous social communities in real time interactions. Facebook has real reasons to use WebRTC instead of using Skype. So does any other online community: gaming, dating, traveling, etc.