By Jon Swartz
Zoom Video Communications Inc., which has flourished during the pandemic, spurring a 653% jump in its stock price this year, is adding online events and apps to its toolkit.
On Wednesday, the company announced two new services — OnZoom and Zapps — to kick off its annual user conference, Zoomtopia. Zoom /zigman2/quotes/211319643/composite ZM +3.78% also is scheduled to hold a financial analyst meeting Wednesday.
OnZoom is a new platform for online events such as classes and entertainment in the U.S. Events are free and paid, with up to 1,000 participants. It is intended for anyone from an individual to small businesses and enterprises to host.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because Facebook Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB -0.48% in August introduced a new feature in 20 countries for paid online events like a yoga class or seminar for small businesses, creators, educators, and publishers via the social-networking giant’s platform. Called Now Pages, it allows for the creation of an online event, setting prices, promoting the event, and collecting payment for hosts of the event. Facebook will not collect any fees for paid online events for at least the next year.
The other product announcement from Zoom, called Zapps, allows for applications to be embedded in meetings and seminars. Its goal is to “enhance collaboration before, during, and after a meeting,” Ross Mayfield, who leads product integration at Zoom, said in a virtual briefing Tuesday.
Among the hundreds of apps under development is one from Dropbox Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205896836/composite DBX +3.58% to improve meeting workflow. Other app developers include Box Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208773138/composite BOX +3.13% , Slack Technologies Inc. /zigman2/quotes/212180539/composite WORK +37.59% and ServiceNow Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202729495/composite NOW +0.88% .
This year’s Zoomtopia user conference is virtual, and expected to be attended by 50,000. In his keynote address Wednesday morning, company chief executive Eric Yuan touched on the cultural zeitgeist of the company and reviewed its technology, including the additions of OnZoom and Zapps.
“We believe the future is a true hybrid” of working from home and going into the office, Yuan said, necessitating the need for devices — including cars — and applications that take both into consideration.