At its annual Zoomtopia event, Zoom made two big announcements and one pledge. The promise is about encryption. The first announcement is the launch of OnZoom, an online gallery of events broadcast with its tool. The second is the opening of an application marketplace where developers can offer their “apps” in the form of extensions to videoconferencing.
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Zoom has decided to call these third-party software “Zapps” – “these are applications in Zoom”, summarizes Ross Mayfield, Product Lead Integration at Zoom in an exchange with analysts and the international press.
What is a Zapps in Zoom?
Zoom is also concerned by these developments since it has already unveiled thirty-seven applications in partnership with several publishers. The marketplace will then open to developers – who will be pre-approved – in 2021.
Among the first “Zapps”, we find productivity tools (Box, Dropbox, Google Docs), team collaboration and project management (Trello, Slack, Confluence, Wrike, Asana), survey (SurveyMonkey), real-time transcription (Rev), online courses (Coursera, Kahoot) and a strong focus on CRM / customer support (Salesforce, Hubspot, Zendesk).
Zoom already offered a particularly well-stocked application marketplace (more than 800 references). But, according to Ross Mayfield, so far these were applications that integrated Zoom, via its APIs, into their products.
Conversely, Zapps will be intimately integrated into the Zoom interface, so as not to have to quit the tool.
For Wayne Kurtzman, analyst at IDC, this “best-of-breed” approach could appeal to organizations that wish to avoid a fully integrated model, such as Microsoft Teams, so as not to be linked to a single publisher.
“Everyone needs the best tools available on the market to do their job in the best possible way, and often these tools don’t all come from a single source,” he says.
OnZoom: a content marketplace
At Zoomtopia, Zoom presented another “gallery”, for events this one. This showcase is aptly called OnZoom (“On Zoom” in English).
Concretely, a company or an individual can offer content (courses, tutorials, etc.). OnZoom manages registrations (if the event is free) or sales if it is paid (there is also a “donation” option), and the recurrence of sessions if it is a series of events.
OnZoom is available in beta. For example, the gallery offers classes from Hope Zoomba (a specialist in dance exercises) and cooking classes from Whisk. Not very B2B then, but Katianne Galdieri, Brand Marketing Manager, believes that the tool is also intended for companies.
Zoom assures that it will not charge OnZoom. This is however reserved for paying Zoom customers. And, adds the editor, it is not excluded (that is to say that it is a priori recorded) that it will take a commission on paid events.
OnZoom events are limited to 1,000 people (upper range determined for companies that organize large events).
OnZoom is in tune with virtual events – rather small in size given the limit of one thousand participants – since Facebook made a similar announcement in September. With OnZoom, Zoom is in any case becoming a content reseller and could compete, in France, with players like Skilleos in the B2C.
Immersive funds and end-to-end encryption for everyone
Less striking, Zoom has announced “immersive scenes”. Immersive scenes allow the host to create a backdrop where participant streams are integrated into a scene, such as a classroom or courtroom. A feature that is reminiscent of the Together Mode of Teams, unveiled this summer by Microsoft.
More importantly, Zoom promises true end-to-end encryption from next week, a technical preview, and for all users (the previous promise of such encryption reserved for paying customers had triggered a rain of criticism).
“When enabled, the feature ensures that communication between meeting participants using Zoom applications is encrypted using keys known only to those participants’ devices. With end-to-end encryption, no third party – including Zoom – has access to the meeting’s private keys, ”Zoom promises.
Zoom had been at the heart of a heated controversy after its marketing said it was encrypted end-to-end, when it was not. His competitors, who are not more so than him, had taken the opportunity to praise their supposedly superior security.
But end-to-end quantified actors remain rare. In France, for example, Tixeo is one of those (and certified by ANSSI for that). The open source WebRTC project, which forms the basis of several products (including Lifesize and Google Meet), explores an alternative track to the one owned by Tixeo: “Insertable Streams”.
But Zoom is not based on this open source technology. With this announcement, the publisher should therefore no longer delay in lifting the veil on how he managed, in record time, to rethink his product (thanks to the takeover of Keybasedit-il) to make it a continuous flow of figures. impossible to spy on. LeMagIT has in any case asked the question to the editor, who promised to explain us all. To be continued then.
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