Zoom is a household name at this point and has become the first choice for video conferencing and group calls. We will explore the reasons behind its monstrous success here.
Full-fledged mobile application
Almost all the VC platforms are built primarily for PCs. Webex, the pioneer of VC calling, didn’t even have mobile apps initially. And later on, when it was introduced, it was limited to only attending calls.
Zoom, on the other hand, allowed users to initiate meetings, schedule them, and share meeting links right away through Mail and other apps. It also has the entire features available on the desktop like screen sharing.
No Trouble Connecting
VC platforms like Webex had unstable connections quite often. Also, there’s a lag between Audio & Video if your internet speed fluctuated a bit.
Zoom optimized calls based on platform and bandwidth available, which reduced call drops. They also made sure the latency is minimum, so the AV sync was perfect for video calls, even on mobile devices.
Users can join a VC call from different devices ( Mobile, PC) and from different apps/browsers( Chrome, Safari, Edge, etc. Unlike others, Zoom is optimized for all the often used browsers, so everything is seamless, no matter where you join from, like Zoom’s motto – Make video communications frictionless.
Webex has been the VC platform for enterprises for a long time. But the installation process was tedious and cumbersome. So IT & Infra departments struggled to get Webex onto employees’ machines.
Zoom tackled this head-on by making sure that installation & deployment is easy. Zoom could be deployed on Cloud or the company servers using their Meeting Connector relatively easily.
Zoom’s pricing model was straightforward. It also has a basic plan which is free for up to 40mins with video. This meant anyone can get on Zoom without paying at all, which made user acquisition easier and Zoom saw exponential growth in new user numbers.
The paid plans were also cheaper than its competitors and offered the same functionality across platforms.
Zoom’s ideation has been born out of users’ pain points with VC platforms. Eric Yuan, founder of Zoom has been a key member previously, in building and scaling up WebEx( later acquired by Cisco). His interactions with WebEx consumers were always negative and had a lot of pain points. He took these to his higher-ups, to implement changes in the WebEx platform to address these problems. But they were brushed off, which eventually led him to leave Cisco and start Zoom( You can read the full story here).
Interactions like this show how Zoom is, user-centric in its approach.
And then came COVID
Even though all the above points are behind Zoom’s success, the COVID pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have been a catapult for its raise. Essentially, Zoom had a good platform locked and ready, and they were at the right time.
Zoom has employed really good search marketing. As people started searching for video conferencing apps during the pandemic, search results for keywords like -video calls, and conferencing have shown Zoom ad on top of the page. So search engine optimization was well done and ads have been cleverly placed and promoted.