afaqs! news bureau

Zoom launches in-app games to play during or in between calls

Now users can play games like poker, Heads Up and Kahoot on the platform.

Video conferencing app Zoom has annouced a new feature which allows users to play games on the platform, the company announced on Wednesday. According to a report by CNET, the games can be accessed from the Zoom App Marketplace.

Users can select between games like Live Game Night Poker, Kahoot and Heads Up. In order to play these games, a user will have to install the game from the App Marketplace, get on call with another user or a group of users. Clicking on the Zoom Apps tab at the bottom of the meeting window will launch the game and the host can configure game options and set up and play the game.

The COVID pandemic and lockdown forced people to work and execute their day-to-day business from home, it has also made way for services that help them stay virtually connected, meet in groups, conduct classes, and even get married online.

Zoom may not have been a familiar name a while ago,but now, Zoom calls and Zoom meetings have become a part of our daily vocabulary. On the ground, this video conferencing platform competes with the likes of Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoho Meeting, Skype, Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting, among others.

In October 2020, Zoom also announced a new feature to the software - OnZoom. It is a comprehensive solution for paid Zoom users to create, host, and monetize events like fitness classes, concerts, stand-up or improv shows, and music lessons on the Zoom Meetings platform.

According to the app analytics firm Sensor Tower, Zoom was the most downloaded non-game app globally for April 2020, with close to 131 million installs, a 60x growth from the same time last year. Zoom beat TikTok, which held the top spot earlier. And, it’s anyone’s guess which country accounted for the most number of (Zoom) installs/downloads.

India topped the list, with 18.2 per cent of the total downloads, followed by the US, at 14.3 per cent. Among the other most downloaded apps were Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. The number of daily participants on Zoom meetings has shot up, from 10 million in December 2019 to 300 million in April 2020. Zoom is currently valued at $40-50 billion. It was valued $16 billion a day after went public in April 2019.

In a conversation with afaqs!, Sameer Raje, general manager, head of Zoom India, says that the secret behind Zoom’s rapid and widespread adoption is the platform’s ease of use. “Why else would our users go ga-ga about the platform? We are spreading more via recommendations and word of mouth, instead of marketing. Our enterprise customers are coming to us, even when our rivals are providing free services,” he says.