Zoom is the most popular videoconferencing tool in higher education today. Launched in 2012 with Stanford University as its first customer, higher education institutions around the world are attracted to Zoom because of its ease of use, reliability, as well as its picture and audio quality. Also appealing is Zoom’s cost: free with some meeting length and size restrictions, and discounted educational rates for licensed versions.
For many Zoom video conferencing has been the go to tool for online meetings. Users using the free version have a 40 minute window. The Pro version allows you to sign in using your work credentials (user name and password). It is quick and easy to set up a meeting and you simply share the link. In addition to being a video conferencing tool, within Zoom you can set up polls, whiteboards and breakout rooms.
After gaining 635% in 2020, Zoom became the most well-known video conferencing app used during the Covid-19 pandemic. In October 2020, Zoom’s market cap crossed $140 billion, valuing the company more than 130 year old ExxonMobil. However, in November, after announcing the efficiency of the Covid-19 vaccine, Zoom’s stock price dropped more than 15%. In January 2021, Zoom raised $2 billion through a common stock offering.
Zoom has been criticized for “security lapses and poor design choices” that have resulted in heightened scrutiny of its software. The company has also been criticized for its privacy and corporate data sharing policies.