July 24, 2024

A year and a half ago the world was suddenly thrust into a pandemic. Businesses closed, and people were put into lockdown to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus as much as possible. Work was suspended for some non-essential workers, and others adapted to the change through working or attending school remotely.

Throughout this chaos, a certain company stood out as the place most people were turning to so they could work or attend classes remotely: Zoom. People also turned to other companies in addition to Zoom to support remote working and learning, such as WebEx, Skype and Slack.

Now, as life gradually returns to some form of normalcy, companies are opening in-person offices, and schools are holding classes in person again. California Baptist University is back, in-person and on campus, but what about Zoom?

Now that many companies and classes are returning to having in-person activities, Zoom’s stock has fallen. This is not unexpected. As people begin to do more things in person, they will use Zoom less. When it stabilizes, though, will Zoom recover?

Dr. Adele Harrison, professor of finance, said she thinks Zoom needs to do something to make itself competitive over the other companies that have tried to fill that same role.

“Now what Zoom is being confronted with is they are a single-product company,” Harrison said. “They do virtual interactions. That’s their product that they’re selling. They are totally at the mercy of the demand for that particular product over other products. As you can imagine, especially during COVID, many other competitors came in to try to offer things to meet that space. That is why Zoom is now having trouble. They were where people went first when they were forced to do (remote) interactions, particularly public schools. (But now) businesses are reopening and schools are reopening, so that demand will be reduced.”

However, Youssef Attalla, freshman pre-nursing student, said he thinks people will continue to use Zoom even after the pandemic.

“It will be a better alternative for meetings if people can’t make a meeting (in-person),” Attalla said. “Zoom can be for anything. It doesn’t have to be for school. It could be for meetings, for work purposes or for any big thing.”

While Attalla has hope for Zoom, others think things will return to what they were before the pandemic.

Jada Smith, sophomore pre-nursing student, said she has doubts about Zoom rising in popularity again and that she thinks her education will be better for returning to in-person classes.

“I feel like the popularity isn’t going to come back as hard as it did during the pandemic,” Smith said. “Obviously, it’s nice to stay home but I feel like I lacked engagement. I feel like a lot of my friends did too. (We missed) the interaction with others. My whole first year of college was online and I barely met anyone. (But now) I’ve already met so many people. It’s so crazy because last semester, at this time, I didn’t know anyone. And now I know some people that I can go hang out with and study with.”

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