First Microsoft and Google incorporated the classic Zoom functions like breakout rooms into their own videoconference services. Nonew Zoom reportedly challenges the tech titans by developing its own email and calendar apps, according to a report from The information.
Thanks to millions of people going to school and working from home, Zoom shares have risen 500% since the beginning of the year. This signals room for growth for videoconference platform, but also the need to diversify –when students return to classroom teaching and workers begin to return to the office, our collective dependence on Zoom will weaken., That Information notes.
According to sources who spoke with the publication, CEO Eric Yuan imagines “to expand the company’s video conferencing service to a full-fledged platform that will include email, messaging and other productivity tools.” Zoom can already integrated with a variety of applications, such as Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Dropbox and Asana.
Part of Zoom’s popularity is its lightness of use, but especially schools are locked early on the platform because it removed the 40-minute deadline on free basic accounts for educators and students affected by covid-19, which is likely to remain the case until the schools fully reopen to personal instruction.
It could be an advantage for Zoom to develop its own services to complement its video conferencing software, considering a massive decline in usage likely when the world returns to “normal”. However, Yuan reportedly told senior management that Zoom needs a strong messaging product if it hopes to compete with Microsoft and Google for large corporate contracts.
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Something new Zoom rolls out is also certainly met with control. The road to popularity has not been smooth: the company finally added end-to-end encryption for video conferencing meetings in October. Last month, it was settled with the FTC for allegedly lying to everyone about the said encryption. And just a few days ago, a Zoom boss was accused of censoring video calls at the request of the Chinese Government. Did it we mention all Zoombombings?
But it is unclear whether an email or calendar service is the smartest game here, as companies and individuals already have their preferred services and the competition is well established. A messaging app that can be supplemented and integrated with the component for video conferencing – and competing with Slack – may be a better move. Either way, Zoom execs should probably move fast; with the covid-19 vaccines rolling out now, the company’s opportunity to take advantage of its ubiquitous possibly closes.