Until 2020, almost no one had heard of this platform, but in the epidemic it is already impossible to imagine life without video conferencing. But why exactly Zoom has become the choice of thousands of people and companies? What is its dizzying success, is it the coronavirus pandemic to blame? Let’s try to figure it out.
What is ZOOM?
Zoom is a cloud-based service for video conferencing, webinars, online meetings, and distance learning. You can join the conference as a spectator using a modern browser such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. But it is more convenient to download a mobile application for smartphones and tablets (in Google Play and the App Store), or a program for a PC.
What is the secret of ZOOM’s success?
The history of the project began more than ten years ago, in 2011, when Eric Yuan presented a new online conferencing service to his bosses at Cisco. Then this idea was not liked by anyone, which forced Eric to leave a prestigious position. An entrepreneurial developer lured 40 more people out of Cisco, and Saasbee, Inc. was founded. For a long time, no one dared to invest in the project due to an oversupply of such applications on the market, but already in June 2011 it was possible to attract $ 3 million in investments. Zoom was officially launched in early 2013 and in just six months the number of users exceeded 1 million. At the beginning of 2015, 40 million have already used the application.
But not everything was rosy – at the end of 2018, there were reports of data leaks and privacy issues. Of course, researchers have already found all the holes in the security system, but attacks from cybercriminals still occur.
The peak of popularity came in March-April 2020, when the whole world switched to remote study and work. Users have chosen Zoom for its convenience, reliability, and excellent call quality. Even the free version provides users with ample opportunities.
The main advantages of “ZOOM”
– Great communication. One should not expect high quality pictures, but communication, uninterrupted communication is guaranteed at almost any Internet speed. Compared to YouTube – to watch videos in HD quality you need 5, or better 6+ Mbit / s, and “Zoom” to receive video in the same quality needs 2.5 Mbit / s. Practice shows that the platform does not fail.
– A large number of participants. In the free version, you can connect up to 100 people – often this is more than enough. At the same time, each user has the opportunity to turn on the camera, microphone, demonstrate the desktop of his gadget. In this case, you can demonstrate not the entire screen, but only a certain application, for example, your own developments in a text editor.
– The presence of a convenient chat. Unlike many competitors, in the Zuma chat you can not only write messages, but also attach files. The message can be sent both to all participants and to someone specific.
– No need to waste time on registration. Most analogs require you to create an account linked to a phone number or email. Everything is much simpler here – you just need to enter your nickname or name.
– The possibility of dividing participants into groups. Session rooms are intended for discussion of individual issues in a mini-group. The rest of the participants will not know what the conversation was about. After negotiations, you can return to the common “room”. Both manual distribution into mini-groups and automatic ones are possible. The organizer has the right to enter any “room” and check what is happening there. There is also a function to move participants from one “room” to another.
– Supports all known operating systems: Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, Chrome OS.
Choosing a name and logo
The project was originally dubbed “Saasbee” (Bee Whirring), but investors found it dissonant and repulsive. Instead, “Zoom” was suggested. Nothing is known for certain about the meaning, there are only suggestions that this is due to the company’s focus on the generation of “buzzers”.
The application logo is distinguished by its minimalism and conciseness – the inscription “ZOOM” in white letters on a blue background with the image of a video camera in a round frame. This symbolizes the simplicity and convenience of the interface of the service itself.
Skype. The same brevity in the logo – a white letter S on a blue background. Skype is more suitable for personal communication than for solving work tasks. Very sensitive to network problems.
Microsoft Teams. The letter “T” on a purple background symbolizes the door behind which there are two men. Expensive subscription. Most of the features (for example, creating a scheduled webinar) are only available on paid plans.