Zoom hosted its annual conference Zoomtopia last week with several interesting new announcements. Before the conference, our two most significant concerns for Zoom in the long term are 1) how effectively can the company retain paying customers once life is back to normal? 2) The potential risk that video communication is becoming an embedded feature for many applications natively and no need for standalone video-conferencing applications outside of selected few use cases. The new product announcements addressed our concerns head-on.
OnZoom: OnZoom is an online event platform and marketplace. It allows paying users to host and monetize online events and let other users discover interesting events more easily. The product is an online version of Eventbrite and Meetup, with video conferencing as the core feature. For example, a yoga instructor paying for Zoom during the pandemic to engage with existing customers will be more likely to keep paying and monetizing through online courses.
Zapps: Zapps is Zoom’s effort to provide the best breed features from other companies to Zoom customers. The 25 initial partners include collaboration software like Slack and education providers like Coursera. The idea is to leverage the Zoom video conferencing as a critical feature, enhance it with other features, and offer customers an integrated platform as the final product. If this effort plays out as planned, it could meaningfully increase the stickiness of Zoom’s platform.
Zoom SDK: Zoom will make the customizable SDK available to other software developers, making it possible to embed real-time engagement ability into its applications. This move is similar to the Azure Communication Services recently announced by Microsoft, making Zoom a more direct competitor to other API providers like Agora and Twilio.
One consistent message across these new product announcements is the blurring line between product and feature. Zoom is most well known for its video conferencing product, but these new products show that video conferencing is increasingly turning into just a feature for Zoom. The company is making a strong effort to turn a successful product into a feature supporting more products with broader opportunities.
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