Zoom adds time-saving features in challenge to Slack and Teams


aving sent Skype to a quiet grave, Zoom is turning its attention to Slack and Teams in an effort to become the workplace messaging tool to rule them all.

During the pandemic, Zoom’s daily users rose from 10 million to 300 million in a year, but it still has a way to go before it is a real challenge to the two giants of workplace comms.

While Slack has 20 million daily active users, Microsoft Teams has 270 million.

Although Teams and Zoom may look as if they are in the same ballpark when it comes to numbers, they are hard to compare because they are so different – but perhaps not for long.

At the moment, Zoom is largely used for video conferencing despite offering a suite of features including chat functions and webinars. By comparison, Slack and Teams are more often used in their entirety, with Microsoft throwing feature after feature at its product, from GIF integration to adding hold music to phone calls.

Slack is also adding more automation options, marking itself out as the slickest workplace communication tool.

Now, however, it seems Zoom might be looking to step up to the plate as a challenger, with six new features signalling it is ready for something more than simple video calls.

The first is a more streamlined version of Zoom’s in-meeting chat function, with hosts being able to turn the option on and off and allow users to chat alongside a video call. Next is easier meeting scheduling, which can now be done directly from a channel or private chat rather than opening the Zoom app.

Two other features are targeted toward saving time, with a Reminders tool to flag messages for later in the day and a quick meeting rejection option when meeting invitations are sent out.

In a similar vein to Slack, Zoom has announced support with more third-party apps, making it easier to integrate Zoom into other workplace software.

Finally, Zoom will become more accessible by allowing access to chat through the desktop version, rather than just the app.

While these changes may seem small, they all focus on creating a more all-encompassing product that will stand a better chance of becoming the workplace tool of choice and squeezing out competitors.

Zoom already has plenty of users; now it has to get them to stay on the platform throughout the working day rather than only clicking on for a video call.

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