The coronavirus pandemic has made video conferencing an essential tool for any workspace. Even classes and community events are now taking place virtually through services like Zoom and Google Meet. Now, a new service called Element is making headlines in this space.
Element is a new type of messaging app built on the Matrix open-source project. It offers advanced security solutions including, cross-signed device verification and end-to-end encryption.
Element will be collaborating 500k students & teachers in Germany
The company is already working with several European governments. Meanwhile, Zoom has received a lot of media attention in the last few months over security and privacy concerns.
As per the new deal, the German states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein are choosing the Matrix to build a messaging and collaboration solution. Element will be collaborating around half a million students and teachers in these two states.
According to the company, this will make the Element single biggest messaging and collaboration implementation in the world. With Element's decentralized platform, the protection of identities and communications will undoubtedly increase.
It will also allow in storing the data in on-premise servers. Unlike other services, Elements' business model works in a completely different way. It offers all the required infrastructure, tools, and protocols for organizations to build their own communications systems.
The Matrix open-source project was first introduced in 2013
Matrix, which was first introduced in 2013, has seen a 10x increase in usage since the COVID-19 outbreak. In comparison to Google Meet's 100 million daily users, Matrix-based Element with just 11 million users is still a relatively small player.
However, it has the potential to be the preferred choice for those who are concerned about data privacy. The trend of online collaboration tools will also continue to grow even after the new normal becomes normal.
Last year, the French government developed an app called Tchap based on Matrix. It will replace the Telegram and WhatsApp's usage by its employees. With their in-house communication systems, governments can avoid attacks and surveillance from foreign governments.
Even 100,000 users in the German Armed Forces use the Matrix-based solution called BwMessenger. These services with end-to-end encryption can be used on Android, iOS, and web applications. However, there is also a chance that some governments might eavesdrop on users when they control the systems.
With the in-house solutions, we have to wait and see how governments will be able to compete with services like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.