Yesterday, Zoom and Keybase announced that the first had acquired the latter. Let’s put it this way: I was not surprised that Keybase was acquired but I was surprised and, quite frankly, shocked that they are now part of Zoom.
Zoom currently has a big trust issue and they are just now with their 90-days-of-security plan starting to work on implementing some of the features everyone assumed they were already offering based on their marketing wording. Keybase wanted to be basically a web-of-trust implementation and Zoom is struggling with the basic concept of trust here. But before going there, let’s take a look at both announcements:
Initially, our single top priority is helping to make Zoom even more secure. There are no specific plans for the Keybase app yet.
OK, so they got acquired without specific plans for their current offering. Judging from that I’d say that Keybase is now in a maintenance mode at best until Zoom decides what they want to do with it.
We are excited to integrate Keybase’s team into the Zoom family to help us build end-to-end encryption that can reach current Zoom scalability.
This sounds even more like an acq-hire to me. This is also the only non-generic statement mentioning Keybase in their whole announcement. Note that it only mentions Keybase’s team (as do all the other statements in the Zoom announcement) and not Keybase, the product.
I simply don’t have a good feeling about this (unlike when they announced their blog chain plans) and therefore deleted my Keybase account.
P.S.: Gregory Hammond also has a nice write-up about this on his blog.