Google Puts Zoom in Its Crosshairs
As security issues plague Zoom, Google’s rapid response threatens to topple Zoom’s position as the king of videoconferencing apps
Zoom’s popularity exploded as people around the world were forced to shelter in place and sought solutions to virtually engage with co-workers, classrooms, families, and friends. By offering a free plan that anyone can sign up for and a group-friendly, high-definition interface that has proven resilient despite its sudden growth in usage, daily active users on Zoom leaped from 10 million to over 300 million in just five months. But Google is now hot on its heels.
Zoom’s popularity has come at a significant cost as security researchers discovered serious flaws in the Zoom platform, privacy advocates questioned the company’s data-sharing practices, and miscreants continue conducting Zoombombing attacks with crude and malicious intentions. The company is scrambling to correct problems by focusing its development team on strengthening the software, improving its configuration options, and announcing a new cybersecurity advisory board led by a well-respected security executive. Though security experts generally applaud Zoom’s response, many organizations have since banned employee use of Zoom for work.
Unfortunately for Zoom, online videoconferencing services are approaching commoditization due to market saturation. There is too much look-alike competition to stand out for long. Without new distinguishing features or a business model shift that can further disrupt the market, Zoom is vulnerable to competitive threats.
Google’s big push
While there are many deep-pocketed companies competing against Zoom, none seem as prepared or as hungry for battle as Google. Though it has suffered for several years with a muddled communications platform strategy, Google’s recent announcements around its Google Meet videoconferencing service show that the company is now motivated to become the next market leader.
Google recently announced several key new Meet features that put Zoom on notice. New noise cancellation, low-light correction, and high-quality video and audio content support are all welcome technical features, but the most…