Despite data, security and censorship issues – not to mention ‘Zoom fatigue’ – its easy interface and business orientation meant that Zoom soon came to dominate the global online market share, well ahead of Microsoft Teams, Skype and Google Meet. It currently ranks No. 1 in 44 countries and has over 300 million daily meeting participants. ‘To Zoom’ is a new verb.
But as the pandemic unfolded, a global coalition of co-operators looked at developing an ethical alternative. The result? The Online Meeting Cooperative.
Meet.coop began as a collaboration between three tech co-ops in May 2020. It is set up using open source software (BigBlueButton) and runs on co-operatively owned hardware powered by renewable energy. It currently has 105 members across Europe, Asia and South America, including brands such as Friends of the Earth International and The Tor Project.
“Meet.coop is a platform co-op, with two distinct classes of members: operational members who contribute hours to run and grow the platform, and user members that subscribe to the services,” says Melissa McNab, one of its operational members.