March 31, 2020 / 8:08 PM / 2 months ago

Zoom takes lead over Microsoft Teams as virus keeps Americans at home - Apptopia

(Reuters) - Zoom Video Communications Inc’s average mobile user numbers in March were nearly three times that of its nearest rival Microsoft Corp’s Teams, according to research firm Apptopia, as the cornonavirus-driven stay-at-home lifted demand for video conferencing applications.

K’waun Conquest (L) and Parris Bender organize students before a live virtual lesson over Zoom at One Martial Arts as California continues its statewide "stay at home order" directing the state’s 40 million residents to stay in their homes in the face of the fast-spreading coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Millbrae, California, U.S. March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Daily U.S. mobile user volumes rose to a record 4.84 million on Monday for Zoom, as millions of children switched to virtual learning programs and companies asked employees to work from home to contain the outbreak.

Business-focused Teams was used by 1.56 million mobile users on the same day, while Slack saw less than 500,000 mobile users.

Zoom declined to comment on usage statistics, but its active mobile users in March were 151% higher on average from a year earlier, according to Apptopia.

Apptopia’s data is based purely on usage of the application on smartphones and other mobile devices.

Zoom has a huge following among schools and students, many of whom log in through internet browsers and home computers, and it has relaxed here norms for schools by lifting its 40-minute meeting limit on free accounts to facilitate online classes.

“First, Zoom’s big advantage, as far as software goes, is it’s scalable, easy to use, and deployable across multiple devices,” said DA Davidson analyst Rishi Jaluria.

“Second, Zoom has a freemium model, which allows companies to dip their toes in the water before committing to a large roll-out, and expansions come easy.”

Teams had 44 million users globally as of March 18, Microsoft said last month, more than double the 20 million daily active users it reported in November.

Video conferencing platforms offer video and audio calls, one-to-one meetings, group conferencing, collaboration and productivity apps, and a secure interface.

Slack, Teams and Zoom offer free versions with limited features and tiered pricing for paid ones.

However, an increase in users might not lead to a jump in revenue for Zoom.

“We have definitely seen an uptick in usage, but a lot of that is on the free side,” Zoom Chief Financial Officer Kelly Steckelberg had said on a conference call earlier this month.

Shares of Zoom, which debuted last year at $36 apiece, were trading at $146 on Tuesday. Its market value has more than doubled since end-January.

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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