Over the last few weeks, Zoom has become an extremely popular video-communications app for users to stay connected at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has people avoiding each other and governments have ordered some businesses to close.
Here are five reasons why Zoom has achieved its success:
Easy to use
For a long time, videoconferencing was something that required downloading software, understanding how to set it up, and complicated dial-in processes. Zoom, on the other hand, is pretty much as easy as FaceTime.
Just click on a Zoom link in an invitation and it will launch the meeting. If you don’t have the Zoom app installed, it will prompt you to download and install. It’s fast and simple, which means that it’s something that even the least tech-savvy among us can handle.
You can also use it on any device. It works on your laptop, iPad, iPhone, desktop, or Android device. That means pretty much anyone can use it, well, anywhere. Which, if you think about it, is just another way of making it easy.
The reason Zoom took off right now is because everyone can use it no matter how they connect to the internet.
Also, it helps that Zoom is free to use. I don’t just mean for joining meetings; that’s true of a lot of videoconferencing services. You can actually host Zoom meetings for free, which hasn’t been true of its competition. (In fairness, many of them currently are offering free versions to help companies as their workforce is suddenly working from home.)
Zoom didn’t invent the freemium model, where a company offers a limited version of its service for free, and then charges for additional features, but it certainly mastered it in a highly technical market where it hadn’t really been done before. As a result, millions of people are using Zoom in really creative ways to stay connected both for work and personal reasons.
Speaking of those millions of people, Zoom has held up remarkably well considering the surge in usage over the past few weeks. Sure, it’s had a few glitches, but when you think of the sheer bandwidth and data processing that has to happen to make real-time video meetings possible, it’s actually pretty impressive that the whole thing hasn’t collapsed.
Of course, in Zoom’s case, a lot of people are depending on its technology holding up. A lot of companies are using Zoom to stay connected and keep their teams productive, which means there’s no margin for downtime.
Finally, Zoom is actually pretty fun. For example, instead of hosting a meeting where everyone has to stare at you in your kitchen, you can add your own background so that it looks like you’re on the beach or in outer space. You might think those types of features are totally unnecessary, and you’d be right. They aren’t. That’s why they’re fun. And, to be honest, right now, everyone can use a little fun.