Exclusive: Zoom CEO Eric Yuan Is Giving K-12 Schools His Videoconferencing Tools For Free

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On Wednesday, 343,000 people globally downloaded the Zoom app, and 60,000 in the U.S. alone, according to mobile intelligence firm Apptopia—compared to 90,000 people worldwide and 27,000 in the U.S. just 2 months ago by alexrkonrad

Yuan, the entrepreneur who knows that answer best, is unperturbed. He’s already working on new features for Zoom focused on a work-from-home lifestyle, from better face lighting to a lecture tool for professors, while he continues to roll out Zoom free to affected schools. Above all, he argues it’s actually a pretty great time to work at Zoom.

Yuan says Zoom first started to brace itself for huge changes when the Covid-19 virus disrupted business in China starting in January. At that time, customers like Walmart and Dell started to reach out with concerns, Yuan says, wondering if their local employees would be able to move full-time to communications through Zoom. In the run-up to going public, Zoom had trained staff on responses to natural disasters, though the company didn’t anticipate such a disaster would come through a pandemic.

Zoom is already working on new features from user feedback from the work-at-home surge. One would be a tool, inspired in part by consumer apps like Instagram and Snapchat, that would provide a filter that frames a user’s face in better lighting, or with blemishes tuned out. “We want to have a touch up to your appearance just from one feature,” says Yuan.


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