Having profited from the dearth of physical events during the pandemic, Zoom is hoping virtual gatherings are here to stay. The video chat service is today announcing an events platform that gives businesses and social users a place to create and share events. From yoga classes hosted by a local studio to an internal hands-on meeting to a large conference, the new feature aims to cater to Zoom's disparate user base. For the company, it offers a chance to extract more revenue by pushing people — many of who simply use its free service to chat to friends — to its paid licenses, which range from $150 for smaller meetings subscriptions to $64,900 annually for larger webinars.
When it launches this summer, Zoom Events will offer paying customers tools including a dedicated "hub" where you can list your upcoming events, be they private or public, one-offs or a series. Hosts will also be able to monetize events by providing customizable ticketing and registration for their gatherings. That's akin to the existing OnZoom feature the company has been beta testing since last fall with smaller businesses and entrepreneurs. Understandably, that will now be folded in to the broader events service.
But where OnZoom was similar to Eventbrite and Meetup, offering users the chance to make money from DIY events, the new platform is larger in its scope. Zoom wants to be the online venue for a whole host of gatherings and the virtual lobby for physical events to boot. A place that welcomes corporate employees, startups, clients, the press and hobbyists. In that sense, the new feature sounds like Zoom's spin on Facebook Events.
To help users expand the reach of their gatherings, Zoom will post them to a public directory for others to discover. You'll also be able to track event statistics like attendance, registration and revenue, with additional controls over access and billing.
Ultimately, with deep-pocketed rivals like Microsoft and Google looking to eat its lunch, the pressure is on Zoom to prove it can continue growing. And, new features like Zoom Events that make subscribing more attractive could help its cause.