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The zoom boom

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

Just a few weeks ago many of us didn't feel the need to call people, let alone video-chat. As we are forced to stay at a physical distance from our family, colleagues and friends however, we see the competitive rise of various platforms. Each offering up unique selling points and potential opportunities and issues for their users.

Of the pre-existing video chats, Zoom had a head start. But whilst it was previously used mainly for work meetings, the platform has been taken up for personal use.

As users move from boardrooms to lounge rooms however, there has been increased scrutiny on a number of fronts. Should we be moderating these platforms to watch out for new, younger users? Is it ok to say no to friends wanting yet another zoom hang when you just want some time that is properly solitary? Why is Hamish Blake in my work meeting?

And maybe most significantly,... Is Zoom collecting my data or telling my friend when I click out of the chat to look at something else? A question that has led to people jumping off the platform, including all of Elon Musk's employee's as he banned its use.

Zoom is of course not the only platform.

Gaming apps with chat functionality have skyrocketed too. Houseparty, Second Life, Discord and Twitch are some of the apps that are welcoming more use and users. They provide people the chance to bond over more than just chat but through quizzes, games and avatars. Some are even adding interest to virtual lessons by doing things like delivering them within virtual dystopian settings.

And what's gaming without a little threatening competition? Houseparty is one of the most successful apps in the last few weeks, but with success comes envy. After rumours spread that Houseparty gave hackers access to important information Houseparty has hit back, hard. The app, owned by Epic Games (creator of Fortnite), has offered up $1 million to the first person to lead them to anyone spreading a paid smear campaign.

Whilst Chipotle is one of the first brands to successfully jump into this new space, it seems only logical that we will see new and creative entrants migrate from traditional platforms as lockdown life continues.

Whatever platform you use, whatever creative background you upload, may it bring you and your nearest a new-found closeness whilst apart.

Zara Cooper


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