Zoom claims to have 300 million daily active users... and then backtracks on misleading statement
Much, if not most, of the recent attention on Zoom has been focused on its various privacy and security issues. Understandably keen to change the narrative, the company put out a statement last week in which it claims to have 300 million daily users. One problem: it isn't true.
Zoom may have been eager to get numbers out there that suggested greater popularity than the likes of Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, but the claim to have 300 million daily active users (DAUs) was misleading, and the company has been forced to retract its initial statement.
- Google Meet is now free for everyone, making it a viable alternative to Zoom
- Facebook launches Messenger Rooms as an alternative to Zoom
- Zoom 5.0 is a major update with enhanced encryption and more security options
The problem stemmed from the fact that a blog post claiming 300 million DAUs was based on a statement made by Zoom CEO Eric Yuan that the video conferencing tool has 300 million daily participants. DAUs and daily participants is not the same thing, with the latter referring to people who might be involved in multiple meetings per day.
The two terms are not interchangeable, and in referring to participants as users, Zoom artificially inflated numbers.
In a couple of updates tacked on the end of the original blog post, Zoom says:
Edit 4/29/20: This blog originally referred to meeting participants as "users" and "people". This was an oversight on our part.
4/30/20: The 4/22 blog also correctly used the term participants, but not consistently. The oversight was corrected on 4/23.
In a statement given to TechCrunch, the company says:
We want to be clear: this was first announced in our April 22 webinar as 300 million daily participants by our CEO Eric Yuan. In a follow-up blog post on April 22 recapping this webinar, in addition to referring to participants as "participants", we also inadvertently referred to them as ‘users’ and "people". When we realized this error on April 23, we corrected the wording to "participants". This was a genuine oversight on our part.