In the past year, we have all had to make drastic changes to many aspects of our everyday lives. It is hard to believe school, work, and extra curriculars can now be conducted in our pajama pants from the comfort of the living room couch. Don’t get me wrong, there are some clear advantages to this virtual environment, but I definitely prefer the way life functioned before this virus. There has been so much difficulty surrounding the pandemic, and it is remarkable to see people come together to overcome these obstacles. But it is becoming much clearer that one company in particular has provided a vital service and benefited incredibly from it over the past year.
Zoom is a videoconferencing app we have all become quite familiar with. I had never heard of Zoom before the pandemic, and now I use the app multiple times on a daily basis. It has allowed people to stay somewhat connected during COVID-19 as they live their lives in a socially distant manner. Whether it is for school, birthdays, game nights, or other social events, Zoom has been a common factor among all of them. I am sure many people have experienced the difficulties that go in to working with this software. There are plenty of embarrassing stories of being unmuted as you chew your freshly made lunch, your camera turning on as you brush your teeth, and more. Needless to say, I am ready for life to transition back to the way it was.
Zoom has various tiers and pricing plans that customers can take advantage of. The basic plan allows videoconferencing for one-on-one meetings with unlimited time and a 40-minute limit for meetings with four or more participants. The next three tiers, which are pro, business, and enterprise, all include capabilities that universities, companies, and other organizations can take advantage of. This ensures their students, employees, and customers are receiving the best service possible. Zoom certainly has competition with other apps, such as Microsoft Teams, so it is imperative for Zoom to keep customers both engaged and satisfied. They have done this by providing certain features, such as screen sharing, breakout rooms, reaction functions, and more. I personally find the reaction functions to be extremely beneficial to those in attendance but also the users hosting the meeting too. I have had to organize and conduct meetings for various extra-curriculars, and it is much easier seeing a “thumbs up” or “applause” graphic than trying to analyze every person’s facial expressions. This allows users to have the most interactive experience possible.
In regard to the finances, Zoom’s value has skyrocketed in the past year, and it does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Their operating income increased by more than 300% in 2020 and their forecast for 2021 projects that value to quadruple to almost $400 million. Zoom’s revenue has been doubling each year from 2017-2020, but 2021 is projected to hold an unforeseen increase for this company. The revenue is supposed to grow by about 200% to between $1.78 billion and $1.8 billion.
Some may wonder why in 2021, Zoom’s value will grow larger than ever before. It is important to realize that as we transition away from the pandemic, it is unlikely that working in a virtual manner will completely disappear. The past year has been an opportunity for people to take a step back and gain a broader perspective on what the most efficient way is to conduct work, educate students, and more. If you have a meeting with a client that is on the other side of the country, it makes more economic sense to utilize Zoom instead of traveling. If you are attending a school that is in another country and are comfortable learning in a virtual manner, then that is the decision that makes most sense for you. Universities have been able to conduct courses online much more efficiently than ever before. This pandemic has allowed people to become more proficient in operating videoconferencing apps, so they will probably prove to be beneficial in the future.
I have had the opportunity to meet with several corporate recruiters over the past six months, and I always ask about the pros and cons of working virtually. They tend to express their disappointment in not being able to interact with people in person, but almost every recruiter has talked about how beneficial online work is in regard to scheduling, meeting with clients, and more. They are definitely excited for things to start returning to normal, but we have both agreed virtual learning and working may not completely disappear after the pandemic.
Zoom’s services continue to be reliable and useful for various organizations all over the world. I am particularly excited to see how Zoom’s revenue and income changes in the next five years. Will they continue to maintain the market share they currently have? I like to think they will, but it is also just as likely that more competition will continue to arise. Nevertheless, as we see Zoom progress and face further competition, their financial state is likely to change as well. The near future looks very bright for Zoom, and they will continue to push ahead and provide their services on a global scale.