Google Once Toyed With The Idea of Acquiring Zoom Due To Thousands Of Its Employees Preferring It Over Google Hangouts Meet At That Time

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be a boon to Zoom, a videoconferencing startup. As the people across the globe needed new ways to connect to their loved ones during the lockdowns, the usage of video conferencing apps has surged. It has also lit a fire under Google to upgrade its video conferencing product to provide the best services in this space.

According to the latest report by ‘The Information,’ Google once considered to acquire Zoom back in 2018. The report revealed that Zoom was so popular among Google employees at that time that some Google Cloud engineers actually started discussing the idea to acquire Zoom before the company made a push to beat Zoom.

The report by ‘The Information’ says that several thousand employees used Zoom at that time rather than using Google’s own product. Google Hangouts Meet was Google’s product for video calling at that time, and as said before, employees preferred using Zoom for video conferencing instead of Google Hangouts Meet.

The discussions of acquiring Zoom went to the extent that the Google evaluated a reasonable price for buying Zoom and calculated the running cost of Zoom on Google’s servers, states the report by ‘The Information.’ According to the report, the discussions didn’t go beyond that, and Zoom was one of the other several companies that the Google Cloud engineers were considering to acquire at that time.

A spokesman for Google told ‘The Information’ that Google never ‘seriously evaluated’ the plan to acquire Zoom. The report paints an alternate picture where Google would rule the video-calling service providers’ space. In reality, the company started competing Zoom with its own video calling app instead of buying Zoom. Yet, Google’s messaging service providing strategy has been confusing and unsystematic.

Google has been introducing various new updates to its Google Meet - the company’s Zoom rival product. Google Meet was previously known as ‘Google Hangouts Meet’ until recently; Google changed the name of its video conferencing product.

The report by ‘The Information’ also claimed that Google has been telling its services’ resellers that the company has been making efforts to improve Google Meets to compete against Zoom’s services. Google highlighted the security features of its Google Meet product as Zoom faced a lot of criticism for a range of privacy issues.

Recently, Google banned its employees from using the Zoom app on the company’s computers. Google said that the reason for prohibiting the Zoom app from employee computers is the possible ‘security vulnerabilities.’ However, they can still use the Zoom app on their phones or access it through the web.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said during the company’s earnings call for Q1 2020 that Google Meet is gaining 3 million users a day, which was 2 million per day during March. Zoom recently clarified that it actually has 300 million daily active users, while Google is still following its lead.

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