What Is Zoom and Why Is Everyone Using It Now?

April 6, 2020 • Shannon Flynn


The world that we greeted on New Year’s Day is vastly different from the one we’re currently living in. COVID-19 has more people than ever working from home and videoconferencing to stay in touch with friends and family. As a result, many have turned to Zoom to keep connected.

What Is Zoom and What Services Does It Offer?

Zoom, which was founded in 2011, is a tech company that focuses on a single product — audio and videoconferencing over the internet. You can connect to a Zoom call from any networked device and talk to someone on the other end face to face, even if you’re thousands of miles apart. 

Zoom offers services for all sorts of industries. Room-sized setups allow you to include lots of people in the conference. There are even individual phone connections and HIPAA-compliant systems that medical professionals can use for remote teledoc appointments. 

You don’t need to jump on all of Zoom’s industrial services unless you’re using it for business purposes — anyone can sign up for a free account and set up a call with up to 100 people. Free calls are limited to 40 minutes, but connections are unlimited. 

Tools like Zoom are becoming increasingly popular in today’s world. 

Why Is Everyone Using Zoom?

Zoom has always been a popular tool for businesses that have people working remotely. However, with schools closed, companies encouraging people to work from home, and people being told to stay in their houses unless they need to buy food, videoconferencing tools are becoming the best way for people to talk face-to-face. Zoom has added an estimated 2.22 million users since the beginning of 2020. So long as social distancing and quarantine are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19, those numbers will likely continue to grow. 

Companies are keeping in touch with employees that are now working from home. Zoom is helping people who are used to the structure of an office transition to a more flexible remote schedule while remaining productive. 

Teachers are using Zoom to stay in touch with their students and provide remote instruction as schools and colleges around the world remain closed to combat the spread of the virus. 

Friends are using Zoom to fight the loneliness that comes with the self-isolation and quarantine that is necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19. While it’s not as good as seeing our loved ones in person, it’s one way to stay in touch and have a conversation face-to-virtual-face. 

Families who are isolating separately are using it to stay in touch and keep track of each other’s health. Younger adults are using it to connect with their elderly family members and those who might be at risk to keep them safe while boosting their spirits.  Health care workers are using it to talk to their children because they’re not going home, at the risk of spreading the infection. In short, everyone is using Zoom and will likely continue to do so as long as COVID-19 is a risk

Zoom and programs like it have become our beacon in the dark. They give us the tools we need to stay in touch with the people we love when we’re not allowed to be in the same room with them. 

Looking Toward the Future

We have no idea how long COVID-19 is going to throw a wrench into things, but we don’t have to weather this storm alone. Tools like Zoom allow us to stay in touch with our friends, families, co-workers and loved ones, even when we’re confined to our homes.