The unified communications (UC) and collaboration solutions that have historically served businesses so well are getting a new lease on life as the coronavirus pandemic impacts the world at large. Zoom and other popular conferencing solutions are proving to be in high demand as people look for virtual solutions to take the place of happy hour, dinners out and other social events.
Zoom joined a host of video conferencing and collaboration solutions in lifting restrictions on its use in the wake of COVID-19. The company's free basic conferencing app is available for free, and Zoom also temporarily removed the 40-minute limit on meetings it had previously imposed. Users can take advantage of unlimited one-on-one video calls as well as group calls of up to 100 people.
“It’s my responsibility as Zoom’s CEO -- and Zoom’s unique responsibility as a company -- to do everything in our power to support those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak by committing our reliable technology, expanded access, and agile customer service,” wrote Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, in a blog post.
“We’re certainly seeing some surges in usage of the different services across areas, especially those that are affected, and the teams are hard at work just making sure that all of the services continue to run smoothly during this time...We want to make sure that we can help do our part to alleviate loneliness and help people come together,” said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.
Facebook has seen a 70-percent increase in Messenger group video calls during the coronavirus outbreak. The time spent on group video calls has also doubled globally. "We're trying to make sure that we can stay in front of this challenge," added Zuckerberg. "Right now, this isn't a massive outbreak in every country around the world but if it gets there, then we really need to make sure we're on top of this from an infrastructure perspective and make sure that we can continue to provide the level of service that people need in a time like this."
Voice and video calls on the free WhatsApp client, owned by Facebook, have more than doubled in areas impacted by COVID-19. The client enables free international calls as long as users have an internet connection. WhatsApp also recently entered into a collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and launched WHO Health Alert. The service is designed to keep users up to data on coronavirus news, directly from WHO.
TechZone360 Contributing Editor
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