Publish: 10 May 2020, 10:00 pm
Zoom, currently the most popular video call service in the world, has become a household name in many parts of the globe, including Bangladesh, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since too many people have been working from home as a consequence of the lockdown, individuals and organizations around the world have conducted virtual meetings via Zoom for professional, educational, and even personal contact purposes and the scenario is no different in Bangladesh as well.
The video call system has taken the world by storm, for sure, but in the presence of giants like Microsoft with Skype, Google with Hangouts and Duo, Cisco with Webex, Apple with FaceTime, Facebook with its Messenger and WhatsApp video call service, and many other online platforms, questions are coming up about the growing popularity of Zoom.
“Well, Zoom certainly has its reasons behind its popularity”, says Tanisha Ahmed, an English medium school teacher in the capital. “Since the beginning of the lockdown, we have been holding virtual classes with our students via Zoom. It is easy, simple, convenient, technically more improved with HD video and audio than other available platforms and most importantly, it has the option to put everyone in a single frame, as it has the capability to cater more people at once in both phone and computer.”
It seems that the website got a significant number of other users during the COVID-19 lockdown in Bangladesh. In addition to distance learning and remote classroom activities in educational institutions, many organisations, including government and non-government officials, have conducted video conferences via Zoom meetings.
“I was worried whether I would be able to join my office or not, during the lockdown - since all the transportation services have been shelved and I do not own any personal vehicle. Besides, I was not comfortable going out during this contagious period of time. Thanks to Zoom, now I am granted to perform my office responsibilities from my home and attend important meetings without escaping any deadlines,” Isfaque Rahman, an executive at a multinational company at Gulshan in the capital, told UNB.
Like Isfaque, many employees of several organizations are regularly performing their official meetings in both smartphone and laptop or desktop, as the video calling service is easily compatible with almost every device and can host up to 100 participants and uninterrupted, free of cost service for 40 minutes. Along with that, it offers other video conferencing features such as screen sharing, personal or group chatting, providing virtual background and more.
There is no question that the increasing, continuing growth has boosted the sales of the video call company. Out of 10 million global and daily users in December 2019, the business currently has an impressive number of 190 million frequent users in April 2020, due to the latest circumstances-reports Times of India.
Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (Zoom) was launched in 2013 by Eric Yuan, a Chinese American businessman. Having the profound experience of working as an engineer and executive in Cisco Webex, Eric conceptualized a new smartphone-friendly video conferencing system to Cisco authority. His idea was rejected, and Yuan left Cisco to found Zoom which was built on the ideology to provide audio-visual and online chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform, which can be used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance learning, social interactions, telemedicine and more services.
American communications technology company headquartered in San Jose, California had always aimed at something which was a missed opportunity for other platforms - the quality of video in the calls. While other companies were more focused on the audio quality than the video experience while providing video calling service for the customers, Zoom prioritized on the video through providing High Definition video quality in the video calling which led it to its success.
Besides the video quality and free services, Zoom also got success for its easy compatibility with almost every browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and more - alongside with its availability in both Google Playstore and Apple’s Appstore. Zoom also uses a very limited amount of data at a time, so it works well even in slow or weak internet connections, thus providing a smoother experience for its users.
All these ‘user-friendly’ natures, which were very much missing in other services - Zoom reached at 1 Billion USD valuation within 2017, just within four years of its launching.
However, recently some security and privacy issues had been floating around in many countries such as intruders appearing in video meetings and showing unusual, inappropriate content. Along with the issue which is labeled as ‘Zoom-bombing’, countries like India, Germany, and Taiwan have marked the application as ‘not safe’.
However, BBC reports that the Zoom Authority has taken enhanced security measures aimed at free users of its platform, which began to be implemented on 9 May. A new level of encryption will also be introduced across the platform as of May 30, which Zoom says will "provide increased data protection and resistance to tampering."
As technology is continuously changing on both positive and negative sides of the coin-services like Zoom render it simpler in terms of communication for a developing nation like Bangladesh, on affordable apps throughout the critical time of the coronavirus pandemic.