Zoom pays ‘millions’ to service free users

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Zoom is undoubtedly the most successful business of 2020. The video conferencing platform has grown from 10 million users to over 200 million in just one year, attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic which has forced people to work remotely or be distanced from their loved ones.

Whilst consumers could have adopted any platform like Google Hangout or Skype, it is Zoom that has emerged as the market leader and was valued at approximately $135 billion during its most recent results.

Zoom generates revenue on a paid subscription basis, charging a fee to have calls for over 45 minutes or to include multiple admins on your account, making it perfect for small and large businesses or those commemorating family occasions like weddings and funerals.

However, the large influx of free users means that Zoom still has to provide a technological framework for these customers, hoping that they turn into paid customers.

Zoom is supported by Oracle and Amazon Web Services who ensure that the millions of calls that take place on a daily basis can run smoothly and securely.

This time last year, Zoom was operating on a 80% profit, but following the surge of free users in over 40 countries, this number was recently stated around 68%.

The company announced this month that revenue rose 355 per cent to $663.5 (£495m), topping analysts’ average estimate of $500.5m (£373.5m).

For those that do not wish to pay for Zoom, there are free alternatives such as Skype and Google Hangout, where you can enjoy similar functions and are not limited to payment after a certain duration. To be eligible, you and your guests just need to have a respective Skype or Gmail account – with Google Meet requiring neither and just access to a browser.

Skype is free to use with other Skype members, charging a normal line rate when calling to landlines or mobiles. It continues to thrive, even as a platform to manage remote teams, and has stood the test of time since launching in 2003.

Some consumers prefer to use different video platforms altogether, with companies such as Join.Me and Norwegian-based Whereby.com seeing substantial growth in 2020.

Whereby.com has gained popularity on the basis that you can create your own personalised URL, which can be sent to individual guests and the conversation starts automatically upon opening your browser. This personalised URL does not change  and can be used over and over, making it easy for colleagues to jump on for future calls.

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