Zoom is hosting its annual user conference called…wait for it…Zoomtopia. The conference started yesterday and continues today. Of course, it’s virtual.
Verdict—these guys have been busy. As they should be since they got a gift basket packed full of new users during the pandemic.
They are launching a sh*tload of new services and features. Here is a highlight reel:
- UCaaS. That’s unified communications as a service for the uninitiated. It’s ok. We had to Google it too. Lots of bells and whistles like immersive scenes, new meeting reactions and animations and high-fidelity audio. Here is one of the new immersive scenes available for classroom zoom calls as an example:
Ok, we get the utility of this, but somehow it’s also very creepy.
- E2EE. Bowing to user demands, they are finally rolling out end-to-end encryption for enhanced security.
What’s that mean? Glad you asked. Basically, Zoom’s E2EE is the same GCM encryption that you already get in a Zoom meeting, but now the encryption keys will not live on Zoom’s servers.
Max Krohn, Zoom’s Head of Security Engineering, explained that “the meeting’s host generates encryption keys and uses public key cryptography to distribute these keys to the other meeting participants. Zoom’s servers become oblivious relays and never see the encryption keys required to decrypt the meeting contents.”
- OnZoom. Are you still with us? Ok then, next on the list is the beta launch of their online events platform and marketplace. You can read all about it here, but the key takeaway seems to be this is a zoom call that the host can sell tickets for. As in, “ticket please,” before you’re let in.
- Zapps. And last but not least, Zoom is bringing in “best-of-breed apps into the Zoom experience.” These are apps that you can use within Zoom before, during or after Zoom calls. The company has 25 launch partners for their “Zapp store” approach including bigwigs like Dropbox, Atlassian, Slack, Coursera, Cameo and Superhuman. So, just when you thought you could get off Zoom and hit the fridge, they pulled you back in.
All of this is happening on the heels of a quasi-user revolt. Many of the biggest CEOs are dumping on the value of Zoom calls:
- JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon: there's no vital "creative combustion" happening
- Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: "30 minutes into your first video meeting in the morning ... you're fatigued."
- American Airlines CEO Doug Parker: Zoom meetings are “awful.”
The Scroll’s take: let’s have a zoom call and discuss.