For many, 2020 was the first time they heard about a video chat app called Zoom — a not-so-little online platform that swiftly became one of the most popular options for videoconferencing in the world.
The founder of video conference platform Zoom, Eric Yuan, was named Business Person of the Year 2020 by Time magazine. Yuan’s face adorns one of the covers of this New York magazine along with the faces of several other figures.
The cover of the closed edition of the year illustrates the Zoom interface, where there are many profile photos of video conference participants displayed in gallery format. Eric Yuan’s profile photo was then highlighted among other participant photos.
Zoom has become one of the most popular platforms this year at a time when the world is battling a pandemic. When the Covid-19 outbreak hit the world since the beginning of the year, governments in many countries issued calls for citizens to minimize activities outside the home. As a result, they take advantage of video conferencing platforms like Zoom to work or just meet relatives and colleagues without having to leave the house.
Previously, Zoom was mostly used by companies or business people to conduct long distance meetings. In his virtual interview with Time magazine, Yuan never expected that there would be a pandemic that would boost the use of his main platform. “We never thought about general users or K-12 schools (the educational concept of kindergarten-high school) when planning 2020,” explained the man who was born in Tai’an, Shandong, China, 50 years ago. Yuan only realized a few weeks after the Covid-19 outbreak was announced to be a pandemic, that his platform played an important role in the midst of the corona outbreak. Not only educational institutions, ordinary users, or companies, Zoom is also used by government officials to hold online meetings with colleagues.