COVID-19: Forcing Technological Advancements
The past year has been a time of remarkable progress and growth within the technological community. We have seen most professionals within the workplace transition from an office setting to a virtual work setting. As a result, electronics and technology companies have had their hands full with new and expanding markets to keep up with this new style of living.
As living became almost entirely virtual, in both a personal and professional sense, individuals and organizations flocked towards video conferencing applications, causing the market to expand rapidly. But, the majority of these video software were not a result of the pandemic. Companies like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and UberConference were all founded and then launched many years before the current global pandemic. Zoom, one of the most popular video conferencing software, saw a massive increase in users following the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a post from Zoom’s founder, Eric Yuan, on the company’s blog site, Zoom went from roughly 10 million daily users in December of 2019 to nearly 200 million daily users in March of 2020. The massive growth of a product, like that which Zoom experienced, forces companies to put more resources and time into perfecting their product. Competition within this market is at an all-time high, so if companies are not performing at peak productivity, their software will fall in rankings, subsequently losing millions of dollars and millions of users in the process.
Similarly, other smaller and newer markets such as streaming services have grown at an exponential rate because of COVID-19. Since people have been forced to spend more time indoors and at home, the opportunity for a greater streaming service market was created. The most popular services, such as Netflix and Hulu have been around respectively, since 1997 and 2007, and prior to this past year, have held a large user base. Other competitors such as Disney+ and Youtube TV have also been in the market for a decent amount of time. But, the opportunity came around for other streaming platforms to arise. Since March of last year, releases such as HBO Max and Peacock, two platforms that were released at the beginning stages of the pandemic, and other lesser-knowns such as FuboTV, Vudu, Tubi, and Sling TV have all begun to gain traction and attract a large user base.
As we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic after over a year, it will be interesting to see what other small technological markets expand due to the growth and rapid needs of a virtual consumer-based lifestyle that the majority of us now live in.