Zoom launches Zapps, OnZoom as it builds out its ecosystem for developers, content creators

Zoom is bringing third party applications into its video conferencing experience and offering events via a new marketplace as it becomes a system of engagement.

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Zoom is launching Zapps, where apps developers can build within the video conferencing experience, and a new event marketplace called OnZoom aimed at a wide range of content creators with monetization for ticket sales.

Combine the two efforts and it's clear Zoom is leveraging its scale and popularity to build an ecosystem for a wide range of partners.

Zoom outlined its new efforts during its Zoomtopia virtual customer event. The updates come as Zoom is holding a financial analyst meeting during Zoomtopia. "Zoom has become more than just a video communication platform," said CEO Eric Yuan during his keynote. "It's a people-centric platform. Zoom has become a thing you do."

This year's Zoomtopia, which is virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is going to get more attention than previous years since Zoom has become the go-to platform for remote work and education. Zoom supports more than 3 trillion annualized meeting minutes, and sees well over 300 million daily meeting participants. 

Here's a quick look at Zoom's 2020:

While both OnZoom and Zapps will be promising, the latter will matter more to developers. "I believe Zapps are going to transform SaaS," said Ross Mayfield, Zoom's product lead for integrations. "We're going to see the rise of Zoom startups."

Zapps could be boon for developers, productivity

Zapps will launch with 35 partners that will ship by the end of the year. Launch partners include companies like Atlassian, Slack, Asana, Smartsheet, Salesforce, Hubspot, Workday, ServiceNow and PagerDuty as well as Coursera for education.

"This is about the full meeting workflow and best of breed apps with Zoom as system of engagement," said Mayfield.

Zapps will be different than Zoom's Marketplace, which houses more than 800 apps. Zoom's existing marketplace revolves around integrating Zoom with other applications. Zapps is about bring apps into the Zoom experience with a click.

Here's a look at how Dropbox integrates as a Zapp with a Zoom video conference. Data, agendas and meeting notes are integrated in real time with collaboration. Mayfield said there will be pay, free and apps for compliance as well integrations that enterprise developers will build with internal systems.

zoom-dropbox-integration.png

Zoom

For developers, Zapps will provide a mix of app store distribution as well as viral potential in meeting use cases, explained Mayfield. "We will provide app store style distribution and the ability to share with word of mouth distribution," he said.

Zapps will leverage new APIs as well as existing ones in the Zoom ecosystem. Zapps will be free for developers for now, but Zoom may take a cut in the future.

OnZoom tackles virtual events, content monetization

While Zapps is a developer and enterprise play, OnZoom is more of a way to market for small businesses, prosumers and enterprises. WW is a launch partner as a large company, but multiple smaller businesses such as personal trainers and tutors have used Zoom for business continuity.

Janine Pelosi, CMO of Zoom, said that events going forward are likely to be a hybrid of in-person and virtual. "Virtual events are allowing us to really have an equitable view of knowledge globally," she said.

Wei Li, head of platform and AI at Zoom,  said OnZoom is an event marketplace that serves as directory for everything from events to non-profit fundraising via an integration with Pledgeling. OnZoom will launch as a beta in the US and go global in the future, she said.

onzoom-beta.png

Zoom

OnZoom's core features include the ability to market, schedule and monetize events. Payments are processed via PayPal in the beta, but Li said other processors will be added. "There's no platform fee through the public beta," said Li. "Hosts can sell tickets for a single event or series."

Li added that OnZoom has a dashboard for event creators to track ticket sales, total tickets sold, gross income, cancellations and total event minutes.

Other key items about OnZoom:

  • Each event ticket is generated uniquely for every attendee.
  • Content of events are moderated by AI before being published and customers can report bad behavior.
  • There are options for free and paid events.
  • Event listings are available by topic as well as user picks.
  • Event capacity is capped at 1,000 but live streaming can handle more.
  • OnZoom is available on PC and smartphone. 
onzoom-beta-2.png

SDK improvements, unified communications

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Zoom is also adding features to its software developer kit enabling developers to bolster their own custom-video applications with Zoom's platform for things like session control and customer user interfaces.

The company also updated its unified communications platform with the following:

  • Immersive scenes so a host can set a customer background theme for meetings and create layouts for scenes like classrooms or courtrooms.
  • Zoom for Home support for DTEN ME, Portal from Facebook and Zoom Rooms. Amazon Echo Show, DTEN onTV, Google Assistant-enabled Smart Displays including Nest Hub Max and Yealink A20 will be supported by the end of year.
  • Contactless collaboration via enhanced voice command options.
  • Enhanced whiteboarding across mobile, desktop and rooms.
  • E911 integration with Zoom Digital Signage and Zoom Chat.
  • Reactions, breakout rooms, customized lobbies and debrief rooms for webinars.
  • Video waiting rooms so hosts can choose who to admit as a guest after seeing them in a waiting room.
  • An expanded hardware certification program for personal workspace devices.

The broader vision for Zoom

For Zoom, Zapps and OnZoom are one more step on a continuum to be a broader collaboration platform for the future of work. Yuan said that Zoom has to continue to innovate to set up for the future and even new workplaces like autonomous vehicles. During Yuan's keynote talk he said:

What does the future of work look like after the pandemic? Making all employees go back to the office every day doesn't seem like the solution. We know allowing all employees to work from home forever is also too aggressive because we need and benefit from social interaction. We believe the future of work is a true hybrid. Companies may encourage employees to be in the office on some days of the week and at home other days to maximize the benefits of their time together. We must innovate faster to support this new paradigm shift. We need more devices that support work from home. We need to improve collaboration tools like whiteboarding and we need to make sure employees are on equal footing with those joining from conference rooms. We need to think beyond the home office by integrating autonomous vehicles so it can become a moving workplace when commuting.

Technology wise, we need to invest more in AI to give the right people the right access to the right information when they need it most. We also need it to develop ways of knowing when you need to take a break by analyzing your workload and meeting activities.