National Chronicle

Google once explored acquiring video meet app Zoom: Report

San Francisco,   Google Cloud teams in 2018 explored to acquire California-based video meet app Zoom which has seen a definite surge in its popularity in social distancing times across the globe including in India.

According to a report in The Information citing people with direct knowledge of the situation, the internal discussions didn’t get very far but a group of Google Cloud engineers “evaluated what would be a reasonable price to pay and calculated the unit economics for the service if it ran on Google’s servers”.

Zoom was one of several companies the Google engineers evaluated, the report said on Monday.

A Google spokesperson was quoted as saying that the tech giant never “seriously evaluated” acquiring Zoom and has never had a large-scale agreement for employees to use Zoom.

Citing privacy and security concerns, Google has banned Zoom for its employees across offices, and promotes its own app unified enterprise communication app Meets.

Google is adding roughly 3 million new users on Meets daily and have seen a 30-fold increase in usage since January.

There are now over 100 million daily Meet meeting participants, according to Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Inspired by the growing use of its video conferencing app, Google has announced to make the premium video meeting app free for everyone in social distancing times.

Zoom founder Eric Yuan have rebuffed acquisition offers from Microsoft too, which has seen its video conferencing app Teams growing in COVID-19 lockdowns.

Microsoft’s enterprise communication tool Teams now has more than 75 million daily active users and number of organisations integrating their third-party and line of business apps with Teams has tripled in the past 2 months.

Microsoft saw more than 200 million meeting participants in a single day this month, generating more than 4.1 billion meeting minutes.

In a startling revelation late last month, Zoom meekly admitted it does not have over 300 million daily active users (DAUs) but these are actually the numbers of meeting participants.

In a recent blog post, Zoom declared it more than 300 million DAUs users “around the world are using Zoom during this challenging time”.

The California-based company later deleted these references from the original blog post, claiming “300 million daily Zoom meeting participants”.


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