How Zoom Became The Market Leader of Virtual Meetings

Two weeks ago, we did a post analyzing the impact of COVID-19. We mentioned that it has caused businesses to implement work-from-home (WFH) policies. across the globe.

Unsurprisingly, working from home has led to the adoption of video conferencing apps to conduct meetings virtually. Video conferencing apps reached a record high of 62 million downloads between March 14 – March 21. That’s massive!

Zoom, a video conferencing app launched in 2011, surpassed it’s peers, Google Meet; Microsoft Teams; and Cisco WebEx, with over 100 million downloads on Google Play Store.

It was also downloaded 14x more than its weekly average in Q4 2019 in the US, 20x more in the UK, and 55x more in Italy. Let’s now do a SWOT analysis of the Zoom app to see what justifies these milestone achievements in recent times.

STRENGTHS

1. Easy to Use: The Zoom app has been acknowledged to be pretty easy to use even for first-timers who haven’t been made use of the app before. Thus, making the adoption of Zoom as their primary teleconferencing app easier.

2. Free Plan: Zoom has a free Plan where users can hold a meeting of 100 participants for 40 minutes at a stretch. Tons of small businesses and individuals across the globe who can’t afford the $15 Pro subscription fee get to take advantage of the free plan. To improve retention, they ran a “no limit” campaign for scheduled meetings.

3. High Video Quality: The quality of videos displayed on Zoom meetings are of sufficiently high quality, to the point where presentation slides are displayed brilliantly without blur. Users also have the option of enabling HD mode for their video quality.

WEAKNESSES

1. Audio Quality: The audio output of meetings on Zoom have been described as poor by users of the app. This is especially true when compared to competitor apps like Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.

2. Flexibility on Mobile: Using Zoom on a tablet or mobile phone does not have as much flexibility in hardware choices as with PC. For example, on mobile, you can only see a maximum of 4 participants of a meeting, while on PC, you can see all meeting participants at once. Also, users of Zoom on PC can locally record meetings, a feature not available on mobile.

OPPORTUNITIES

1. COVID-19: The pandemic the world is currently battling with created the opportunity for rapid growth for Zoom and so long as the lockdown as a virus persists globally, Zoom positioned to record more growth in a number of users and meetings held on the app.

2. Innovations and Infrastructure Development: Zoom has been adding servers and improved equipment inside the company’s data centres in addition to increasing its cloud infrastructure capacity. This is to take care of the increased traffic it is experiencing.

THREATS

1. Intense Competition: While Zoom seems to be dominating its space, it is under intense pressure to continue growing from its competitors, who are desperate on capitalising on Zoom’s weaknesses. For example, Google Meet can now show up to 16 participants in 1 grid, as against Zoom’s 4 participants. Google is also keen on exploiting its over 2 billion G Suite users by making Google Meet available via Gmail.

2. Security Flaws: Zoom has been under fire in the media lately for a number of security issues that have been identified on the app. 35% of Zoom users fear that their data will be leaked by using the app. Also, Zoombombing, a scenario where trolls crash zoom meetings to disrupt it by display obscene contents like graphic videos and pornography. These, and other security issues, has led the app to be declared unsafe by some organisations and countries like India.

It is easy for Zoom to lose the millions of users it has gained if it fails to solidify its dominance by attending to the threats and weaknesses posed to the product, because users will incur zero cost to switch to whatever video conferencing app they deem better.

Based on the analysis, what are you thoughts on zoom?



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