Growth and Advancement of Zoom: From Millions to Billions

In the tech-savvy world social apps, videos, news, and memes spread with the speed of light. Everything goes viral within minutes. Apps like Tiktok, Facebook, Snapchats did not even require months to reach the ‘50 Million’ Milestone. 

While it took 13 years for television to make 50 million users, Pokémon Go did it in just 19 days! The internet and increased data speed brought the world closer which increased the number of users. Apps like Tiktok are famous among all age groups, games are consumed by a large audience. 

game or app released today becomes a sensation in the next couple of hours. As a result, software development is skyrocketing. 

In 2020, Covid-19 Pandemic closed the world down. Schools, universities, workplaces, and almost everything was shut down. This arose the teaching and communication problem for all of us and as a result, made us socially apart from others. 

But this challenging situation turned to be a winning shot for Zoom Inc.

History and Progress

Zoom video communications, Inc. (Zoom) is an American technology company. A former Cisco engineer and executive, Eric Yuan founded Zoom in 2011. Zoom's software was later launched in 2013. It accomplished A $1 billion valuation in 2017. 

But despite having an aggressive revenue growth, it posted its first profit in 2019. Zoom's perceived ease-of-use and reliability of its software made it a unicorn company. Zoom became public in 2019 with a successful IPO at NASDAQ. 

Zoom has its headquarter San Jose, California. It provides video conferencing and online chat through a cloud-based, peer-to-peer software. Some of its uses include teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education, and social relations.

Zoom is a quite mature company working from 2011, but it got its breakthrough in the 2020 pandemic. While the pandemic proved to be fatal for various businesses, it has favoured Zoom.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Zoom saw a major increase in usage for remote work, distance education, and online social relations. Many educational as well as business institutions had to shift to virtual classrooms and workplaces. 

Zoom also offers its services almost for free to many educational institutes and schools. 

Just at the start of 2020, Zoom surpassed its number of total users of 2019 in just February 2020. It gained 2.22 million users in February 2020. Zoom almost tripled its value in 2020 and will be posting a few billion-dollar profits this financial year. 

On a day in March 2020, the Zoom app was downloaded 2.13 million times (As per reported by the company). Zoom has also reached an astonishing figure of 300 million users per day in the pandemic period. Zoom is used by more than 90,000 schools in 20 different countries for virtual classes. 

Zoom now focuses on maintaining servers during the pandemic for uninterrupted streaming. 

The average number of daily users rose from about 10 million in December 2019 to more than 300 million daily meeting participants in April 2020. This lead to a 3-fold increase in its stock price despite the great fall in the general market. Zoom valuation reached $67 billion in June 2020. 

A single-digit million-dollar start-up is becoming one of the multibillion Tech giants. Damien Hooper-Campbell became the first-ever chief diversity officer in June 2020. Zoom also acquired Keybase which is specialized in end-to-end encryption. 

Zoom recently removed its 40 minutes limit on video conference for many schools which are using Zoom in the classroom with some special provisions. In July 2020, Zoom announced its first service product, bundling its videoconferencing software and running on the ServiceNow.

It will begin with Zoom Rooms, with those services available to US customers, those who can acquire hardware from Zoom for a fixed monthly recurring cost. In July, the company announced Zoom for Home, a line of products for home use, designed for those working from home.

The first product launched by zoom is called Zoom for Home - DTEN ME. It includes 27-inch screen with three wide-angle cameras and eight microphones, with Zoom software preloaded on the device. It is expected to be available in August 2020.

The Other Side of the Coin

Zoom has been heavily criticized for security lapses and poor design choices that have resulted in heightened scrutiny of its software. Zoom had to face privacy concerns and security backlash as security experts, many corporates and FBI warn that Zoom’s default settings aren’t secure enough.

Zoom is now becoming a victim of its own success eventually due to data concerns . Zoom has battled security and privacy concerns before. 

The company has also been criticized for its privacy and corporate data-sharing policies. Zoom, as a result, was banned by many organizations like SpaceX and NASA.

Security researchers have criticized the company for Zoom's lack of transparency and encryption practices. Zoom claimed to use "end-to-end" in its marketing materials, but later clarified it meant "from Zoom endpoint to Zoom endpoint". 

Several issues like the dropping of uninvited people to the call are actually very concerning.

The New Hope

The criticism made Zoom rethink and reestablishment the encryption process by acquiring Keybase. In April, Zoom announced a 90-day freeze on realizing new features and focusing on privacy and security issues. This new reassembling of the software will provide a greater faith of its user.

The recovery has already begun. Its improved servers and security will again make it the dark horse of this race. Virtual classes are a reality now! Amazingly, this fatal pandemic situation has became a breeding ground for Zoom.

Written by - Harshad Bhagwan

Edited by - Sandhya R

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