Zoom is lifting the 40-min time limit it has for more than three participants for free accounts during the upcoming holidays. In a blog post, Zoom said that the limit will be lifted for Hanukkah, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Day and Kwanzaa. It is worth a recall that the VC service has lifted it’s a 40-min time limit for Thanksgiving Day this year as well. Google is also letting free users host Google Meet calls that last up to 24 hrs right till March 31 next year.
Free users bills, pushed down Zoom Video Communication’s gross profit margins to 66.7%, below analysts’ estimates of 72.1%, much below then the pre-pandemic average of around 80%. Zoom’s margins would remain under pressure into 2021 as free users will continue to spike the cost. Shares of the company, which have risen about 7X this year fuelled by the meteoric rise in demand in VC for work, school or socialising due to the pandemic, fell 5% on Monday.
Zoom has raised its annual revenue forecast by 30% as more of its free users convert to paid subscribers amid the pandemic. Its shares surged almost 4X this year, rising 9.3% to $355.30. Zoom became increasingly popular since the onset of pandemic earlier this year. But a lot of its customers turned to competitors due to its security concerns. Despite this, it had a master quarter with 355% revenue hike to $663.5M, topping analysts’ average estimate of $500.5M.
Zoom Video Communications claimed that its VC services were restored in the U.S. after a partial outage which left millions of its users unable to log in to office meetings or attend school classes remotely. Downdetector.com, an outage tracking website, revealed that nearly 17,000 issues about Zoom services were reported. The San Jose, California-based company did not reveal cause of the outage. Zoom, as per the company, had 300 mn daily meeting participants in April.
Zoom together with Singapore’s Economic Development Board has opened its first-ever Southeast Asian data centre in Singapore, where the app’s usage was briefly halted following the report of hackers breaching some of the sessions. The popular VC app faced scrutiny over data sharing practices with China and this move may be considered as an attempt to gain trust from its customers. The company plans to hire an unspecified number of engineers and salespersons.
Zoom is planning to hire engineers in various tech domains. The company’s website listed the following job opportunities: 1. XMPP DevOps Engineer vacancy – 3+ years’ experience in DevOps/Site Reliability Engineering role etc. 2. 3 Web DevOps Engineer vacancies – 3+ years’ experience, in-depth knowledge of Linux: RedHat, CentOS, Debian etc. 3. 2 Network Engineer vacancies – internet routing protocols knowledge, BGP, OSPF, ECMP, MPLS etc 4. System administrator.
An unprecedented, mass switch to remote working has increased online collaboration. Zoom has become India’s default video conferencing app; has seen 6700% growth in its Indian market. Considering this, the firm has decided to invest, expand its Indian operations. Hence, it is opening a new technology centre in Bangalore. The firm will be hiring DevOps engineers, IT, security, business operations headcounts in India to supplement its California’s R&D facilities.
Zoom Video Communications introduced a hardware subscription service to make its teleconferencing app more accessible. A user can now choose subscription options for phones and meeting rooms. The plans are priced between $5.99 and $60 per month, based on the device, while hardware services range of $75 to $200 per month. The VC service provider has partnered with DTEN, Neat, Poly, and Yealink for the devices.
Bharti Airtel, media reports said, is planning to launch its own video conferencing service, similar on the lines of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts. The product will be offered to startups and enterprises in the first phase. In the second phase, it will be rolled out for regular customers. Last week, Airtel’s Telecom rival Jio has launched its VC services JioMeet, having striking similarity with Zoom.