Zoom announces general availability of Zoom Apps and its new virtual events platform

The video communications giant said the updates are designed to offer users a greater degree of collaboration, productivity and entertainment options within the Zoom meeting and desktop experience.

Zoom said on Wednesday that Zoom Apps and its new virtual events platform, Zoom Events, are now generally available. The video communications giant said the updates are designed to offer users a greater degree of collaboration, productivity and entertainment options within the Zoom meeting and desktop experience. 

For Zoom, the new platforms also illustrate how the company is leveraging its scale and popularity to build an ecosystem for a wide range of partners, developers and enterprise software providers. 

Zoom Apps, launched under the name Zapps at Zoom's 2020 Zoomtopia conference, are different from the more than 1,500 apps offered in Zoom's Marketplace. Zoom's existing marketplace revolves around integrating Zoom with other applications, whereas Zoom Apps are meant to bring apps into the Zoom experience with a click. 

There are 50 Zoom Apps available at launch, including Asana, Dropbox Spaces, and SurveyMonkey Enterprise by Momentive. 

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The company said it's intent on growing its Zoom Apps ecosystem as it works to expand the functionality of its platform, especially for enterprises, and to evolve as a broader collaboration provider for the future of work. Ross Mayfield, product lead for Zoom Apps and Integrations, said work is underway to open Zoom Apps to any developer, and that there's already a pipeline beyond the 50 apps that will be released over time. 

As for Zoom Events, which was first announced in May, the platform will allow users to build an event hub to manage and share events, customize ticketing and registration, control access to billing, host events (free, paid, one-time or series), bring attendees together with integrated networking, and track event statistics like attendance and revenue. 

Events can be kept private or posted to a public directory. They can be used with an existing paid Zoom Meetings or Video Webinar license. Wei Li, head of the Zoom Events platform, said Zoom envisions a range of use cases for the platform, including large events like an investor relations meeting, or a more visual-focused conference like a yoga expo. 

"The past year truly changed the way we connect, learn, work and attend events," said Li. "The hybrid model is hear to stay. Zoom Events is a perfect solution for this evolving landscape."

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Zoom said OnZoom, its consumer-focused Zoom events platform, will remain in beta and focus on serving small businesses and entrepreneurs that want to host and publish events to Zoom's public event directory. Zoom rolled out the beta of OnZoom last year to help entrepreneurs and content creators monetize events with ticket sales.

Zoom became a household name in 2020 after the Covid-19 pandemic forced schools and businesses to close and people to stay physically apart. Its videoconferencing platform facilitated virtual meetings, classes and birthday parties, and by the end of the company's FY 2021, "Zoom" had become a verb, and its revenue had jumped 326%.  

For Zoom, the events and apps integrations are one more step on the company's journey to expand beyond video calls to become a broader collaboration platform for the future of work.