Forward-looking: Zoom rose to new heights thanks to the many people working from home. While that happened, the company discovered its service needed better security. To that end, it bought a small startup called Keybase and now it'll be testing end-to-end encryption before releasing it to all users in 2021.
Zoom has been one of the winners of the pandemic, enjoying massive adoption to the point where it's becoming a household name. And while it may not have the 300 million daily users it claimed earlier this year, its second quarter revenues have ballooned to over four times the amount achieved during the same period last year.
The company was overwhelmed by the rampant growth, and decided to quickly pivot its business to meet the needs of millions of people and organizations who were forced to adopt new remote collaboration tools and rethink their workflow. However, that opened up a can of worms for the company as it was revealed that security had been an afterthought and led to the dreaded Zoom bombing.
Back in June, CEO Eric Yuan promised during an earnings call that end to end encryption (E2EE) would soon be added to Zoom, but only for paying users. After backlash from users as well as privacy security advocates, the company decided to make the upcoming feature available to all.
E2EE is now rolling out to users as part of a 30-day technical preview so that the company can gather feedback. This means that starting next week, you'll be able to add up to 200 participants in a more secure meeting, but you'll have to manually opt in for the feature in the app's settings and verify your phone number via an SMS code.
To check if you're participating in a meeting where E2EE is enabled, look for a green shield icon with a padlock in the upper left corner.
The new feature is not without drawbacks, however, as enabling it may disable features like cloud recording, streaming, live transcription, the ability to join before the host, Breakout Rooms, polling, one-on-one private chats, and meeting reactions. Zoom says the next phase of the rollout is planned for 2021, alongside better identity management and E2EE single sign-on.