Even as millions of users start working from home amid the coronavirus outbreak, remote working apps and platforms are gaining huge traction. Zoom, a remote conferencing service, has suddenly become the talk of the town, especially in the West where it’s more popular.
Zoom essentially delivers a combination of video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. It competes with other professional conferencing platforms such as Google Hangouts and Microsoft’s Skype. The platform was launched by Eric Yuan in 2011. Yuan earlier worked with Cisco Systems and its collaboration unit WebEx as lead engineer.
With companies moving almost every communication to virtual, it’s not surprising these teleconferencing apps are seeing a meteoric rise in growth. In the case of Zoom, the platform is gaining its popularity for its ease-of-use as well as features that align with the IT policies for most of the company.
For instance, Zoom is available on Android as well as PCs. The conferencing calls can have up to 100 participants for meetings under 40 minutes. This for the free users while paid subscribers can have more flexibility. It also offers some more interesting features such as auto-transcription and virtual backgrounds which have helped increase the popularity.
“The usability and the reliability of Zoom is what has led to this incredible adoption, combined with, honestly, the generosity of Eric and his willingness to open it up especially to the schools,” Zoom CFO Kelly Steckelberg told CNBC.
Zoom’s user base has seen a sharp rise in the last few weeks. According to Apptopia, the platform saw about 600,000 new downloads last Sunday. This was the highest ever download in a single day for the company. According to AppAnnie, Zoom raced to the top of rankings in the free apps categories in several markets.
The platform (the US version) is said to have gained more monthly active users in the first quarter of this year than the total number in total 2019. On the Play Store, Zoom has gone past 10 million downloads.
What Zoom didn’t see coming was a surge in the use of teleconferencing calls for non-professional purposes.