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Assessment of COVID’s effect on the performance of video communication apps

While the lockdown is over in most places, the world is still heavily relying on communication apps for social interactions and businesses. It is expected that video calling will become ingrained into our everyday life.

At the pandemic’s peak, we all witnessed an increase in the popularity of video communication apps. So much that several service providers are pushing colocation facilities to their limits to keep up with the rising demand. These video calling platforms are doing a great job of resolving communication challenges that people are faced with in the lockdown which include staying in touch with family, friends, school, and even work from the comfort of their homes. 

With the rise in demand for these video calling apps came a slight decline in their overall customer satisfaction. This comes as no surprise considering that the struggle servers face in keeping millions of people connected across these platforms. 

Due to the pandemic affecting our means of communication with our friends and family, 4D Data Centres conducted research based on 30,000 UK app store reviews on leading communication apps which have been made within the first seven months of 2020 and throughout 2019. The companies highlighted in the study are Zoom, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangout. The main objective of this research was to understand how the pandemic affected the public’s interest in these apps and their responsive performance. To see more of this study, click here

There has been an overall increase in their demand

What stands out is that many companies responded to the challenge of the novel coronavirus with an unpredictable boom. During the lockdown, the world relied heavily on a mobile connection to preserve this new reality of social distancing and home confinement. 

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Furthermore, the study showed that Cisco and Zoom saw their highest demand during the extension of the lockdown in April. On the other hand, Microsoft Teams hit their peak demand two months after. Among the top video communication apps, Google Hangouts is the only one that experienced marginal demand gains in a tradeoff for consistency.

Technical Issues have affected their ratings

In June, security breaches and technical problems caused a decline in Zoom’s rating. Microsoft Teams had technical issues when their users increased which also caused a reduced rating. With July, came Cisco Webex’s round of app crashes among other technical concerns. In all cases, users expressed their dissatisfaction with those concerns, with some even being widely spread past app stores. One group poorly affected by these problems were schools who employed the provider for e-learning programs.

Zoom takes the crown

Another thing that was confirmed by the study is Zoom’s popularity among other video communicating platforms. They experienced about 474% rise in their reviews. However, their technology has shown signs of struggle in the bid to meet with up demand and they have suffered a decline in their rating for this. Microsoft Teams had the lowest rating of the platforms considered in the study despite their 15% in the last year alone. There’s not been enough time to witness the long-term effect of a drop in ratings of these apps. 

Despite encountering technical and security issues, Zoom still managed to successfully overcome those issues based on their financial performance. Their revenue for its fiscal quarter between February and April resulted in that being more than double from the same period last year to $328 million. Fascinatingly, its earnings increased by $27 million.  

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 Conclusion

While the lockdown is over in most places, the world is still heavily relying on communication apps for social interactions and businesses. It is expected that video calling will become ingrained into our everyday life. As the UK navigates the second wave of the coronavirus, the new restrictions are reminiscent of the full lockdown. 

If Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Cisco Webex, all want to preserve their investment and improve the user experience in the months to come, then they need to do everything possible to prevent technical issues. It’s only right that these service providers create better solutions for the technical problems that may come up with a surge in the need for telecommunication apps. If this means employing the services of a more reliable colocation provider, then so be it.

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