Communicating More Than Ever: How the Coronavirus Made Zoom Come Out of the Closet

How many old friends did you speak to during the lockdown period? People to whom you had not said hello in months, or maybe even years. Rest assured, you are not the only one to have done so. The COVID-19 crisis awakened in all of us the need to communicate. In the end it created a little war in the online communication sector from which Zoom came out as a big winner.

From Skype to Zoom to What’s App: Different Solutions for Different Needs

Before we all went into quarantine and we were going about our regular business, many of us, for private matters or for business, had basically moved away from phone calls to What’s App calls. For the younger generation, more often than not, these were video calls. For the others, regular vocal calls. So what is the difference between calling a phone line or using the mobile app? Nothing, except one is free, anywhere in the world, as long as there is an internet network around. I guess it explains quite clearly why so many people made the switch and now, What’s App has just become part of our daily lives.

Those who had laptop issues during the pandemic were not happy. With all the repair stores closed down, and the (usually) friendly technician that wasn’t around to save us at a lower cost than the corner store, they had to find solutions online on websites like repairs for laptops, hoping the problem was not too complex so that they could get their main work instrument back. With all the people working away from the office, it wasn’t possible to miss the daily or weekly Zoom call with the rest of the team. Did we just say “Zoom”?

Zoom takes over Skype

If we could do a hand count of all you readers who had heard or used Zoom prior to the lockdown, there wouldn’t be too many hands raised. Why? On an international level, the communication device went from having (claiming to have) 1 million users monthly in December last year, to over 100 million users, pretty early on during the quarantine period. Suddenly, all companies and social organisations could not live without it. So what happened to Skype?

The advantage of Zoom over Skype, is that no matter how many participants there were on the call, the feed was always steady. The same cannot be said about Skype. Also, there are many prerogatives given to the call leader on Zoom, like closing the room to those who are late. Plus, you only need to receive a link to join, without having to download software.

These are not the only reasons that caused Skype to stay below its competitor, but they definitely explain why the battle was lost in advance for the Microsoft owned company.

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