What to know about Zoom, the video conferencing app
Zoom has a basic free version but also has improved versions for up to $20 a month per host
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After the coronavirus pandemic hit, cities and states started implementing stay-at-home orders and social distancing practices -- which led to an increase in online communication.
Not surprisingly, people turned to Zoom for work meetings, distance learning and personal calls to catch up with friends and loved ones.
However, the spike in users also showed the weaknesses in the platform, particularly with “Zoombombing,” when a hacker hijacks a video call.
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The company has faced scrutiny from state and federal lawmakers, saying Zoom should have anticipated those security threats.
In response, Zoom created a 90-day plan to strengthen its privacy, which included the acquisition of encryption startup Keybase on Thursday.
Here’s what else you need to know about Zoom.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a video-conferencing app that allows people to collaborate across devices with audio and video.
The company was founded in 2011 by Eric Yuan and launched its IPO in April 2019 at $36 per share.
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Yuan was inspired to create Zoom because he hated traveling, he told Thrive Global in 2017.
“I first envisioned Zoom when I was a freshman in college in China and regularly took a 10-hour train ride to visit my girlfriend (who is now my wife),” he told the technology company. “I detested those rides and used to imagine other ways I could visit my girlfriend without traveling — those daydreams eventually became the basis for Zoom.”
Yuan is still the CEO of the San Jose, California-based company, which has 1,300 employees, according to Forbes.
How many people use Zoom?
Last week, Zoom announced it had reached 300 million active daily participants during the coronavirus -- up from 10 million daily participants a few months prior.
However, the announcement was a correction. Zoom had previously said it reached 300 million active daily users but corrected the “genuine oversight” a week later.
"We are humbled and proud to help over 300 million daily meeting participants stay connected during this pandemic,” the company said in a statement. “We want to be clear: this was first announced in our April 22 webinar as 300 million daily participants by our CEO Eric Yuan.”
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How much does Zoom cost?
Zoom has several plans that users can purchase, but there is also a free basic version that limits calls to 40 minutes.
For longer calls and other improved features, plans cost $15 a month per host or $20 a month per host, according to the website.
How much money does Zoom make?
According to a report from Forbes last year, Zoom had annual revenue of $331 million. In March, The Financial Times reported that the company was valued at $35 billion.
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