Zoom Revamps User Numbers Vs. Participants

Marking a major correction, Zoom now says it is not serving 300 million daily active users.

Rather, the video-conferencing platform says it has an average of 300 million meeting “participants.”

As its name implies, a “daily active user” can only be counted once per day. However, if one user participates in 10 conferences in a single day, that is recorded as 10 “participants.” (Zoom is not saying how many DAUs is it now seeing.)

Zoom initially claimed that its DAUs had spiked from 10 million in December to 300 million, on April 22. As was first reported by The Verge, the company has since restated those figures in terms of participants.

“This was a genuine oversight on our part,” Zoom stated. “We unintentionally referred to these participants as ‘users’ and ‘people.’”

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Genuine or not, the error supports the picture of a company struggling with its rapid rise in prominence.

Since the pandemic made Zoom a household name, a number of privacy issues have come to light.  

At the beginning of the month, Zoom was hit with a privacy lawsuit over data transfers to Facebook, while Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) raised concerns about the company.

Also this month, it was discovered that the credentials of more than half a million Zoom accounts were being sold on the dark Web.

Amid surging demand for its services, Zoom is also contending with new entrants into the video-conferencing space. Facebook recently launched Messenger Rooms, which, unlike Zoom, is free to users regardless of how many people they host in their video chats.

Just this week,Google Cloud said it was making its video-conferencing platform free to all users.

Also eying Zoom’s market share, Verizon Business recently agreed to buy cloud-based video service BlueJeans Network.
2 comments about "Zoom Revamps User Numbers Vs. Participants".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, May 1, 2020 at 6:36 p.m.

    Further, and more correctly, they are not "participants" but "participations".

    You can have a "participant" (singular noun) or a group of "participants" (plural noun) who "participate" (verb singular or plural) generating a number of "participations" (plural noun)..

    If each particpant participates just once in a given time period (in this case a day) then participants = participations.   However, this is highly unlikely.   The longer the time period, the probability of multiple participations by each particpation quickloy approaches 100%.

    So if you refer to that quantum of "participations" as "participants" (as it appears to be Zoom's want as a bettger appellation) then it can quickly exceed the population (or 'defined universe' count) which is an impossibility.

  2. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, May 2, 2020 at 1:03 p.m.

    Well done John!  It appears Gavin fell into the participation numbers trap that ZOOM set!  No surprise that they are hyping their performance numbers based on their business pratices and woeful security protections for users.  Hopefully they will be put out of business soon for their shameful lack of security and "sloppy engineering" which have generated a suit by their shareholders; and has resuted in being banned by many large organizations including Google.
    As a tech geek suggested to me, using ZOOM for video meetings/conferencing would be akin to entering a COVID hosptial without PPE!!  He suggested protecting one's data and contacts for any video meeting by using Cisco WebEx which has a free version with some good feaures and apparently is double encrypted, both in and out, among other security protections.

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