Ever since the first quarter of 2018, Zoom’s revenue has increased with every quarter – but will it continue to grow year on year, or will it start to decrease?
Is Zoom Too Fatiguing?
With Zoom fatigue taking hold, and corporate meetings starting to be held through livestreams or virtual event platforms, this week’s “The Future of…” article is about whether Zoom will continue to be a popular platform for training events and other corporate meetings.
Firstly, there is a tendency to equate Zoom calls with ineffective meetings. Zoom is also somewhat synonymous with the pandemic. As we try to move on from a hard year, will people also be desperate to move on from using Zoom to speak to colleagues?
Part of why Zoom meetings are so dissatisfying, is due to how difficult it is to communicate on Zoom; it is harder to gauge other participants’ attitudes via facial expressions. This is especially when the quality of the call can be 720p at best, and people’s faces can only be seen in a tiny window at worst (with the presentation taking up the entire screen). People may focus on how their own faces and backgrounds are displayed onscreen, which can distract them from the meeting.
Altogether, it can be quite tiring to use one’s mental load to try to build a rapport on Zoom’s setup. Even Zoom recordings can be quite draining to view. Virtual event platforms or high-quality livestreams can mitigate this by improving the video quality and allowing for more dynamic content to view, using a variety of camera angles and content types.
Who Are Zoom’s Competitors?
Despite Zoom not being the only software available for video calls, it seemed to be exactly the application that 2020 needed. But will it continue to be the leading platform?
When organisations don’t hold their events on Zoom, Microsoft Teams tends to be used as an alternative. Its free version offers not just video calls, but also 2GB cloud storage and unlimited chat. Zoom’s free plan, on the other hand, is limited to video conferencing.
Furthermore, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC21) last month, they announced a FaceTime video chat software update. This will be compatible with Windows and Android devices and allow calls with multiple attendees. Knowing the technology giant that Apple is, could their new software update make FaceTime go back to being the video chatting application?
After all, before “should we have a Zoom?” became synonymous for “should we have a meeting?”, “let’s FaceTime” used to be what people said before having any sort of video call, even on non-FaceTime apps.
The future of Zoom might therefore show it being eclipsed by other software options, but these have yet to show themselves as true competitors right now, so only time will tell.
How is Zoom Developing?
Zoom could, potentially, develop to include the features and potential impact of its competitors. There are rumours of Zoom also launching an email and calendar service. This represents a commitment to help people within the office as well as outside of it. This may be how they are moving on to address hybrid work, as some workers have returned to the office but some are yet to fully return.
In terms of addressing hybrid work, Zoom has also launched Phone Appliances, a line of hardware products that combines video, audio and collaboration capabilities. They are calling it an “all-in-one desk phone solution” that can remotely facilitate HD meetings, phone calls, and digital whiteboarding.
Conclusion: The Future of Zoom
Overall, Zoom resulted in sustained workplace communication during the pandemic, but it might now be time for organisations to move on and look at other technologies to further improve event broadcasting strategies.
The future of Zoom seems to be that, like Teams and Skype, it may continue to be an old-faithful software that some organisations lean on, but virtual event platforms and livestreaming might be a crucial method of innovation for more forward-thinking organisations.
SupplyChainDive have said that, as workplaces evolve past the pandemic, Zoom-like products will, rather than replace supplier communication between businesses, just be an additional tool.
What do you think of this outlook? What do you see as the future of Zoom? Comment below with your thoughts, and let us know which platforms you use to broadcast events online.