Posted From Forbes.COM
It’s worth reading Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield ’s comments on Twitter about the changes his life and his company have been subjected to over the last two weeks , as half the world has been locked down by the coronavirus pandemic, with a record number of […]
Slack is not alone: similar tools, such as Microsoft Teams, has seen use grew more than 40% in a week, while announcing new features. At one point, the increase in users caused outages.
But the real winner to emerge from the global lockdown is Zoom. The company — founded in 2011 by Eric Yuan after leaving his job as VP of Engineering at Webex, a subsidiary of Cisco, and which went public in April 2019 with a valuation of $16 billion — is now worth $39.3 billion, and says it wants to be much more than a simple video conferencing application and instead take center stage in areas ranging from collaborative work to online teaching.
While some criticize Zoom’s lack of privacy — the host of a meeting can activate an attention tracking tool to check on participants — or its treatment of privacy and personal data, the application continues to break popularity records: the lockdown is turning a video conferencing application based on a rigid control of latency that until now had been largely restricted to professional use, into a superstar.
Its quality, its freemium model and its ease of use are taking it to unimagined levels of popularity, which are generating advice on its use, transfer of all kinds of activities to the network, zoombombing — where people hack into public conferences to share pornographic images — while the SEC has withdrawn a small company with a similar name that has not provided financial information since 2015. Even a New York Times tweet linking to an article about keeping pets and children out of frame during work meetings on Zoom went viral when a number of people considered the “as much as we love your children and pets, we may not want to see them in video calls” idea as totally inhumane.
According to the company, more than 10,000 academic institutions have chosen Zoom as they transfer their academic activities online, a circumstance that bodes well for the company, given that most students are already familiar with it and will likely extend use.
A pandemic that prompts governments to close offices, prompting a sudden increase in working from home is an enormous opportunity, and Zoom seems not only to be taking full advantage of the situation, but has passed its first major test with flying colors.