Zoom has been the big winner during the COVID-19 pandemic and has become the go-to video communication tool for individuals and organizations. So, how much growth has Zoom seen since the start of March?

Well, according to the company’s CEO Eric S. Yuan, the platform now has over 300 million daily users. When you see Zoom had 10 million daily users in December, and slightly higher than that in February, you can see the scope of the company’s rise.

In just two months, the company has seen its user base sky-rocket 3,000 percent. In an “Ask Eric Anything” webinar, Zoom’s founder was joined by CPO Oded Gal, CTO Brendan Ittelson, Alex Stamos, who is a security adviser to Zoom, and Lea Kissner, the former Global Lead of Privacy Technology at Google, who is consulting with the company on privacy and encryption.

Ironically, Google has recently banned its employees from using Zoom. During the discussion, the executives discussed an update that deals with privacy issues that users are concerned by. Because of a 90-day suspension of new features, Zoom is focusing on shoring up existing tools and practices:

Changes to existing features

  • Remove searching for same domain contacts
    Users will no longer be able to search by full name for contacts with the same domain if they are not on the same account or organization. To continue chatting with contacts outside of their Zoom account, they can add them as external contacts.
  • Enhanced privacy design on user profile page
    Personal information, such as email address, personal meeting ID and phone number, will be partially masked with asterisks (*). Full details will only be shown when the user explicitly clicks on the “show” option.
  • Skype for Business (Lync) users will join webinars as attendees by default
    Users joining a webinar with Skype for Business (Lync) will now join as attendees by default.

New and enhanced features

  • Administrator features
    • Select data center regions for meeting and webinar traffic
      Users on paid accounts can now customize which data center regions they use for their real-time meeting and webinar traffic. You can opt in or out of each specific data center region for data in transit. Your default region, which is the region where your account was provisioned, will be locked. When you opt out of a region, the regional dial-in numbers will be disabled for your meetings and webinars. Zoom Conference Room Connector (CRC) endpoints in disabled regions will also not be able to connect to your meetings or webinars. This setting is available at the account, group, and user level and can be locked at the group or account level. Data routing selections do not apply to Zoom Phone.
    • Additional data center details in Dashboard
      Dashboard will now list if any data center connected to an HTTP Tunnel (HT).
    • Link accounts to an organization
      In IM Management settings, account owners and admins can now link multiple Zoom accounts together to create an organization. Once linked as an organization, these accounts will be able to search contacts, chat, meet, and make phone calls (if eligible for Zoom Phone) with each other.
    • Setting to allow Zoom Room under the same account as host to share
      Account owners and admins can now enable or disable a setting to allow Zoom Rooms to share into the meeting when they’re on the same account as the host.
    • Setting to allow host to report participants to Zoom
      Account owners and admins can now enable a setting to allow the host to report participants to Zoom. This feature will generate a report which will be sent to the Zoom Trust and Safety team to evaluate any misuse of the platform and block a user if necessary. This setting is available at the account, group, and user level and can be locked at the group or account level. This setting requires the Zoom client version which will be released on April 26, 2020.
    • Setting to show participants’ profile pictures
      Account owners and admins can now enable or disable the ability to show participants’ profile pictures during a meeting. If this setting is disabled on the host’s account, no profile pictures will be shown during the meeting. Users will also not be able to upload a profile picture in the meeting. This setting is available at the account, group, and user level and can be locked at the group or account level. This setting requires the Zoom client version which will be released on April 26, 2020.
    • Configure cloud recording password requirements
      Account owners and admins can now configure minimum cloud recording password requirements, including a minimum length, requiring letters, numbers, special characters, or only allowing numeric passwords.
    • Enhanced encryption
      Zoom Phone SIP signaling communications from client to server occur over TLS v1.2 with AES-256 bit encryption. Zoom Phone call media is transported and protected by SRTP with AES-256 bit encryption for the latest Zoom clients, and with AES-128 bit encryption for SIP devices.
    • Require minimum length for voicemail PINs
      Account owners and admins can require a minimum amount of characters for phone users’ voicemail PINs. Voicemail PINs are needed to check voicemails on desk phones.
    • Control access to call recordings
      Account owners and admins can enable or disable phone users’ ability to access, download, or delete their own call recordings. This applies to ad hoc and automatic recordings. By default, phone users can access, download, or delete their recordings.
    • Enter multiple email addresses for porting notifications
      When submitting a porting request online, account owners and admins can enter multiple email addresses to be notified about the porting request.
    • More details for voicemail notification emails
      When viewing voicemail notification emails, account owners and admins can view additional information for the associated call including duration, date/time, and caller ID.
    • Updated routing options
      Account owners and admins can route to any extension from a call queue, auto receptionist, or shared line group.
    • Duplicate call queue or auto receptionist
      Account owners and admins can quickly set up a call queue or auto receptionist by duplicating an existing one. All settings will be copied from the original except for the extension number, phone numbers, and display name.
    • Set emergency address to any country
      Account owners and admin can set the emergency address to any country, including countries where Zoom Phone is not officially supported.
    • Assign sites using SAML mapping
      Account owners and admins can configure their SAML mapping to update a phone user’s site.
  • User features
    • More details for voicemail notification emails
      When viewing voicemail notification emails, users can view additional information for the associated call including duration, date/time, and caller ID.
    • Set emergency address to any country
      Users can set the emergency address to any country, including countries where Zoom Phone is not officially supported.
  • Developer features
    • Added a new request field(“embed_password_in_join_link”) to the Account/Group/User Settings APIs
      • PATCH /accounts/{accountId}/settings
      • PATCH /accounts/{accountId}/lock_settings
      • PATCH /groups/{groupId}/settings
      • PATCH /groups/{groupId}/lock_settings
      • PATCH /users/{userId}/settings
    • Added a new response field(“embed_password_in_join_link”) to the Account/Group/User Settings APIs
      • GET /accounts/{accountId}/settings
      • GET /accounts/{accountId}/lock_settings
      • GET /groups/{groupId}/settings
      • GET /groups/{groupId}/lock_settings
      • GET /users/{userId}/settings
    • Embed password in the “join_url” field when “embed_password_in_join_link” option is enabled in settings
      • POST /users/{userId}/meetings
      • GET /meetings/{meetingId}
      • POST /users/{userId}/webinars
      • GET /webinars/{webinarId}
    • Apply Master account settings to Sub account settings if Master account owner has locked those settings
      • POST /accounts

Resolved issues

  • Resolved an issue where “signed-in users with specified domains” did not apply for all webinars
  • Minor bug fixes

New updates for Zoom Phone devices

New and enhanced features

  • Enhanced encryption
    Zoom Phone SIP signaling communications from client to server occur over TLS v1.2 with AES-256 bit encryption. Zoom Phone call media is transported and protected by SRTP with AES-128 bit encryption for SIP devices.

Zoom Problems

In recent months, Zoom’s growth has been tempered by a series of issues that have plagued the platform. For example, bad actors have been infiltrating meetings and ZoomBoming participants. The company also removed data sharing with Facebook over concerns regarding GDPR rules.

This week it emerged a vulnerability has been found that allows hackers to get the Windows login details of users. Last week, the company’s CEO, Eric S. Yuan said the company did not expect to see a growth in popularity and was not prepared for it.

Last week, over half a million Zoom user credentials were found online.