Zoom has witnessed an exponential rise in popularity, thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic and people preferring Zoom over other video conferencing tools, despite the security loopholes.
Last month, Zoom reported over 300 million daily meeting participants on the platform, which is a whopping 2900% increase from December last year.
But, back in 2018, when Zoom was still trying to make it big, Google was internally planning to acquire the video conferencing platform, people familiar with the matter told The Information.
That year, thousands of tech giant’s own employees were using Zoom instead of Google’s homemade video conferencing products. Zoom’s sudden popularity among the employees prompted discussions between Google Cloud engineers to acquire the product by the end of 2018.
According to the report, the discussion went so far that Google started evaluating the price to acquire Zoom and “calculated the unit economics for the service if it ran on Google’s servers.”
Zoom is currently one of the biggest competitors of Google Meet, which means the discussions of acquiring Zoom never went past the closed-door meeting.
It’s ironic that Google, who is trying to catch up with Zoom’s unprecedented popularity, once thought of acquiring Zoom since it would have been an easy buy at the time. The situation reminds me of the iconic incident of 1998, where Yahoo refused to buy Google for $1 Million.
Today, Google is copy-pasting the features of Zoom in its own video conferencing platform. Recently, Google Meet crossed the 100 million daily participants mark.
Meanwhile, Google banned its employees from using Zoom due to security lapses in the software. To put it differently, even Google acknowledges that its employees used Zoom up until now.
If Google had gone ahead with the proposition of acquiring Zoom, things would have been entirely different. A Google cloud spokesperson told The Information that the company “has never seriously evaluated acquiring Zoom.”