The video-conferencing wave isn’t expected to last through 2021, and Zoom is hoping to cash its chips in before it crashes.
What you need to know
- Zoom is working on an email and calendar service to take on Gmail.
- The Information reports we may see an early version of this in 2021.
- Zoom is making this move to pre-empt a shift away from digital communications in 2021.
Zoom and Google already compete in the video conferencing space. Zoom has, well, Zoom. Google has its own Meet service that it’s built up over the year, but the competition may be about to get a lot more direct. No, Zoom is building a search engine, but a web-mail and calendar service? That hits a lot closer to home for Google.
According to a report from The Information(via Engadget). Zoom is preparing an email and calendar offering to complement its video-conferencing service. It’ll be a full e-mail service, albeit a “next-gen” one that doesn’t just attempt to duplicate Gmail or Outlook but one that brings something genuinely new.
The reasoning is simple. 2020 was a big year for video-conferencing apps, we had to work from home, buy new webcams, and just relearn how to do all our work and socializing from behind a screen. As 2021 is round the corner, vaccines and other therapies have emerged that may put a stop to extended homeworking by curtailing the pandemic. Companies like Google are already planning a late-summer return to the workplace, and Zoom is unlikely to remain an en vogue app past that. The company is hoping to use the momentum it’s accrued to drive customers to its new service.
The Information says that Zoom’s email service may launch in 2021 in some form. As far as strategy goes, it would make sense for Zoom to launch its new service while it still has the engagement from a captive audience. But Gmail already exists, and the integration Google accounts have with so many products and services may prove to be a barrier too high for even a “next-generation” email service to overcome.