Meetings.io is the latest step in the evolution of videoconferencing services, a classic example of enterprise-focused social networking, which have always held much potential but also frustrations. Starting out as services only for the biggest enterprises that could afford expensive equipment and software, eventually videoconferencing offerings trickled down to Internet-based, mass-market products for anyone (business or consumer) to use with a connected PC or mobile device equipped with a microphone and camera.
But even so, they came with a catch: with Skype, GoTo Meetings and WebEx, you need to download software, and pay fees (as you do with Skype to enable more than a one-to-one conversation); with Google, you need to join its social network to use Hangouts. “But you may not want to do that for someone who may be only a short-term contact,” says co-founder Arend Naylor (via a Meetings.io link).
And that’s before any and all technical glitches.
These are all barriers that Meetings.io is attacking with a very simple, peer-to-peer service aimed not at early adopters and those more technically-minded, but those who need to make a group call for work and without the painful process of setting that up. The aim: “Something lightweight that works without software,” says Naylor. The result: to initiate a call, a registered user simply sends out a link, or invites people to visit a meeting room.