Zoom, the company that became the office boardroom in 2020 has fallen from one of the top applications used in Kenya to rank 105 among top apps on Google playstore. The company, whose valuation has dropped to pre-pandemic levels, shows just how fast the shift back to the office has cut back on the Covid-19 boost for tech firms that became popular for supporting remote work.
Online data show that by May 2020, Zoom had 200 million daily meeting participants. This figure rose to 300 by the following month as Zoom call jumped from oblivion to become one of the most popular applications globally more than a decade after the company was founded.
With 2900 percent increase in participants, it was obviously one of the fastest growing apps of the pandemic and its valuation exceeded $100 billion during the pandemic and a 383 percent increase in its value in January 2020.
Zoom use has dwindled in recent quarters as most people have gone back to the office and the schools were re-opened for physical learning. This is reducing the demand for video conferencing services for corporates and institutions. However, Zoom is still a common feature for multinational meetings and some companies still retain its use.
Zoom revenues for FY20 (ending on January 31, 2020) was $622 million, but a year later, the firm hit $2.651 billion, a 325 percent jump in earnings. As of January 2023 Zoom’s total annual revenue was $4.392 billion, a 7.13 percent increase from the previous fiscal year at $4.099 billion in revenue.
The coronavirus pandemic remains to be a force to be reckoned with in history. Some felt its effects hands-on while others still refer to it as propaganda, but even they have a significant amount of fear for the mysterious yet deadly disease.
Conferencing platform Zoom
It didn’t just kill people but destroyed sources of livelihood and some businesses too. The world’s economy was handed a heavy blow and only those fit survived or rose during this time.
However, there cannot be dark clouds without silver lining. Other than most parents finally getting to know their children as, some even went online begging for the schools to be re-opened, communication technologies also became greatly incorporated into the world of corporates.
During and after the Covid-19 pandemic, several communication technologies became widely used to facilitate remote communication, collaboration and connection as people had to isolate for safety and majority of employees all over the globe got to work from home.
Some of these include video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft teams, Google meet and Cisco Webex, which enabled businesses, schools and individuals to conduct virtual meetings, online classes, webinars which can be used for training, sharing knowledge, product launches and internal meetings, and social gatherings.
Zoom was already a well-known video conferencing platform before the pandemic but its growth was relatively steady compared to what was witnessed during the pandemic of 2020. This is because the app is easy to access and use because of its design and features and therefore was favored over other options, as apps that allowed people to stay in touch became central to our day-to-day lives during this time.
According to a research called, “The Total Economic Impact of Zoom’s Unified Communications, which was commissioned by Zoom, the growth of Zoom customers and usage during the pandemic was because it improved organizational resilience, enhanced employee and customer satisfaction and also boosted employee collaboration.
Standard features of Zoom
Some of the standard features of Zoom include HD video and audio, built-in collaboration features, end-to-end encryption for all meetings, recordings and transcripts, and streamlined calendaring.
Other examples of the pandemic enabled technologies include the E-commerce and delivery apps such as Jumia, Kilimall, Glovo and Uber Eats became popular choices for online shopping and food delivery services. Tele-health services and virtual doctor consultations also witnessed increased demand on platforms such as My Dawa, Afya Pap and My Health Africa, which provided accessible medical advice and services to patients remotely.
Moreover, virtual learning was also popularized during the pandemic but was enabled by apps such as Eneza Education, eLimu and M-Shule offered valuable educational opportunities for Kenyan students and professionals to continue learning from the safety of their homes.
Last but almost the king of them all is the contactless payment solutions like Mpesa and Equitel played a crucial role in enabling users to make digital payments, transfer money and pay for goods and services without physical contact. Almost all the other technologies depended on it. Imagine being online without data.
These technologies not only helped individuals and businesses adapt to the challenges of the pandemic but have also continued to be relevant even post the pandemic, which accelerated the adoption of many digital communication tools. It transformed our way of work, interactions and life in general forever.