Brave Talk: a privacy-focused video conferencing software or a promotional tool?

Imagine free, unlimited, and private video calls right there in your browser. That's exactly what Brave advertises in its latest marketing campaign – unlimited video calls with no data collection or tracking.

 

Brave recently announced the release of its brand new online meeting service, along with some big privacy-related promises. Supposedly, Brave Talk is here to offer unparalleled levels of privacy with all your personal or business calls. We decided to dig into the details of the Brave Talk offer and see what users can really expect.

Video calls with privacy in mind

The COVID-19 outbreak revolutionized our modern lives with the ever-growing number of online jobs and explosion in the popularity of online conferencing platforms. However, despite a myriad of companies offering said services, there’s only a handful of those that care about their customers' privacy. Is Brave one of them, and what does it offer to support its claims? Let’s see.

Brave Talk pros:

Bringing people together or pushing Brave advertisements?

All factors considered, allegations that Brave uses the new online communication platform to promote its browser don’t come as a surprise. While there’s nothing wrong with that in general (many companies promote one product with the help of another), we do, however, object to the somewhat forceful nature of these attempts.

Marketing is one thing, but pushing people to use your browser to enjoy a new (and what’s supposed to be a separate) service is another. Let’s not forget as well that Brave's CEO, Brendan Eich, is no stranger to controversy himself, having resigned from Firefox after supporting an anti-LGBT movement, and introducing deeply disconcerting affiliate tags on crypto pages in Brave's browse. With the second, Brave already showed us once that it’s capable of putting revenue above transparency – so, let’s just hope this time things will be different.

Brave Talk cons:

  • The service is integrated into the Brave browser – while this is super convenient on one hand (you can start your video calls with just a few clicks), it reeks of browser promotion on the other. Brave Talk works only from Brave browser and no other. This is not a practice with most other open-source communication channels, which is another red flag.
  • You’ll need to use brave tokens to start your calls – why is this bad? Well, you earn Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) by watching ads through Brave. And, although those ads are usually presented separately from your web content and can be manually controlled for most of it (for example, by pre-selecting their frequency or toggling on and off the Brave Rewards option), you are still "forced" to watch them if you are to use Brave Talk for free.
  • The Premium tier costs $7 a month, so your conference calls won’t be free of charge.
  • The earlier controversies with Brave browser gave us some reason for hesitation about trusting this company.

Conclusion – should you use Brave Talk?

Brave had few bumps on the road here and there, but, overall, it’s a large brand built with privacy in mind that many people trust. As usual, we are not here to nudge you in one direction or another but to give you an honest and impartial opinion about a piece of software. We do hope, however, that the evidence in the article will help our readers reach their own conclusions based on their unique needs.

We do find the requirement of enabling Brave Rewards before using Brave Talk a bit excessive – simply because Brave promises total privacy to its users. Other than that, Brave Talk seems like a reliable and legit communication platform, especially suitable for those who are already using Brave Rewards and are supportive of Brave’s advertising strategies.

On the other hand, the users who aren’t used to the Brave search engine, or are not in favor of the Brave advertising system, may want to consider some other video conferencing software. Alternatively, you can always use some of the best VPNs for Brave to furthermore increase your privacy with Brave Talks.

Written by: Danka Delić

With her BA in English Language and Literature, Private Pilot Licence, and passion for researching and writing, Danka brings further diversity to the team. As a former world traveler, she learned to appreciate cyber security and the necessity for digital privacy. Danka is a nature, animal, and written-word lover. She enjoys staying on the go, both mentally and physically, and spends most of her free time either reading or hiking with her dog.

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