The coronavirus communicable pushed people to stay in their homes, and in turn, forced them to use video conferencing products. In the past couple of months, Zoom became an almost basal app, Facebook had to step up and make a rival product, and Google made its action conferencing artefact free for everyone.

Amid this video conferencing boom, Zoom’s aegis and privacy-related problems made a lot of people agnostic about using its products. Plus, the aggregation wasn’t cellophane about communicating its mishaps — this forced a lot of people to look for free open source products, and Jitsi emerged as a absolute band-aid for them.

Apart from being open-sourced, Jitsi benefited from endorsements by a few highly-regarded names in the aegis community. In March, a privacy-focused browser Tor tweeted about the artefact as an addition to Zoom.

In 2017, in an account with WIRED, Edward Snowden talked about using his own Jitsi server. Later, in a aegis conference, a lot of people saw Snowden using Jitsi to bear a talk.

The artefact aback exploded during the pandemic. That meant Emil Ivov, Jitsi’s founder, and the rest of the team had to work even longer hours to keep the ship running.

Jitsi’s History

Ivov originally built Jitsi as a activity in 2003, when he was belief at the University of Strasbourg. Later, he spun off the activity into an app and kept architecture it for desktop. In 2009, he started a aggregation called BlueJimp (not to abashed with BlueJeans, addition video conferencing app) around it.

In 2011, Google open-sourced WebRTC advice standards to facilitate things like video-conferencing over browsers. The team took advantage of that and built a browser-based product, and so Meet Jitsi was born.


Apart from being open-sourced Jitsi’s ease of use helped it gain more users. To set up a call, you need to go to its website, and it’ll accomplish a affair link with four words. That makes it difficult for Zoombombers — alien people who join public video conferences and advertisement pornographic actual — to guess the link. Plus, you don’t need to sign up to set up a meeting.

While the open-sourced adaptation is free-to-use for everyone. Its parent company, 8×8 offers a paid adaptation with appearance such as archetype and affair history.

How the Communicable afflicted Jitsi’s course

In the past few months, the team had to scale up the basement as users started to mount due to lockdowns all over the world.

The aggregation abstruse that all kinds of people started to use video conferencing products. So they had to make things easier for users and brainwash them about the artefact as many of them were used to ancient dial-in calls.

However, the communicable has affected the company’s product. Ivov claims it pushed the app’s growth by 10 years:

The communicable provided an dispatch of 10 years in terms of growth. The last decade was an indicator of people moving appear remote work. This bearings has just put us into the fast track mode.

After the communicable hit the world, Jitsi’s open-sourced adaptation and 8×8’s paid adaptation have managed to accomplish 20 actor unique account participants.


The next claiming for the aggregation is to acquaint end-to-end encryption for calls. The account already offers end-to-end encryption one-on-one calls and plenty of other aegis measures.

Ivov told me that he’s never heard so many people talk about end-to-end encryption:

I’ve never heard so many people talk about aegis and end-to-end encryption as I have in the past few months. We accommodate altered levels of aegis for altered needs. So primarily, we needed to brainwash people about the options they have.

He said that end-to-end encryption for a call with assorted people is arduous to develop. Ideally, when addition joins an encrypted call after a valid key, they would only see abstruse up video streams. When they have the accepted key, the video stream would look normal. You can see that in a demo video below.

Now, this is easy to assassinate when there are two or three people on the call. When video casework such as Jitsi meet use WebRTC, they create a affiliation with a axial server that dishes out a single video stream to all participants.

If a account wants to use encryption, it has to create the same number of encrypted affiliation to the axial server as the number of participants on a call. And the axial server has to break every stream, re-encrypt it, and send it to addition participant. This works well for two or three-person calls. But puts a lot of load on the server for calls with assorted people.


To solve this problem, Jitsi is going to use Insertable Streams, a new affection appear by the Chromium team that lets you add an added layer of encryption. The idea is to encrypt frames rather than connections.

Benefits of the open-source model and future of video conferencing

Ivov says the open-source nature of the app has helped people find bugs and report them — and that’s why we haven’t seen a major aegis scare on the app yet. Plus, this also helps anyone who wants to apparatus their own set of functions on top of Jitsi’s app.

For instance, the Italy-based classroom accord belvedere WeSchool has built some appearance on top of Jitsi’s open-sourced version. And according to WeSchool’s CEO, Marco De Rossi, nearly 30% of accessory schools in the country are using that tool. Rocket Chat, a free and open-source action team chat band-aid also uses Jitsi for video conferencing.

The number of people using video conferencing accompanying might abatement as countries are aperture up, but Ivov believes a lot of people will still prefer this method of advice instead of a affair packed with people.

He said that conferencing apps will need to try and make people’s lives easier by making affair items such as slideshows, documents, and transcripts accessible even after the affair ends. However, the claiming for them would be to do all of this after compromising anyone’s privacy, and Ivov believes it’s possible.

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