Teleconferencing app Zoom is to introduce paid events and in-meeting apps as it seeks to capitalise on a massively increased user base brought on by the pandemic.
The company has launched a beta-test version of OnZoom, its marketplace for Zoom-based experiences, and said it would begin offering in-meeting apps, called Zapps, by the end of the year.
Zoom said the marketplace is directly inspired by the large-scale shift to the platform during worldwide pandemic lockdowns earlier this year, which forced many businesses and organisations to find ways of operating online.
OnZoom “simplifies that experience”, said product manager Aleks Swerdlow in a blog post.
She said the platform is aimed at events such as fitness classes, concerts, stand-up or improv shows and music lessons.
OnZoom allows users to discover events to attend or nonprofits to donate to, while adding native payment features.
Users can schedule and host one-time events, event series or drop-ins for up to 1,000 attendees, list and sell tickets and share and promote public events via email and social media from within the platform.
It offers a directory of public events and ticket sales features, supporting payment via PayPal and major credit cards.
WW, formerly Weight Watchers, is one of the platform’s charter members and has been offering virtual workshops via Zoom since the advent of Covid-19 restrictions this spring.
The company said it saw the move online as a way to bring its “behaviour-change expertise to the forefront”.
Third-party services have long integrated Zoom features, but Zapps are the first time Zoom has integrated apps into Zoom meetings.
At launch later this year the in-meeting apps are to include collaboration, education, meeting and webinar, productivity, sales, whiteboarding and incident response features.
As an example, Zoom said users could use a Dropbox Zapp to share a document to other participants in a meeting, or put up a poll with an app from Slido.
Zapps can be discovered and used on the fly, even within meetings, and can be shared with one click to other people in a meeting.
The Zapps app store is open to third-party developers, with Zoom testing, approving, hosting and publishing the apps.
The company said it will not initially take a fee for hosting events or helping attract an audience, but will review the policy next year, when it will decide what cut it will take from ticket sales.
Zoom recently disclosed it now has 370,000 customers with 10 or more employees, nearly four times the level of a year ago, and has quickly become one of the most visible companies in the tech sector over the course of this year – which has also involved growing pains.
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