Zoom has become an essential tool for businesses, schools, and even healthcare providers during the pandemic. Now the company is expanding its usefulness with the introduction of new app integrations it calls Zapps.

Zapps are third-party applications that integrate with Zoom’s existing workflow, making it easier for users to access information and collaborate on video calls. At the same time, Zoom is also launching OnZoom, an integrated online event platform.

While Zoom’s existing app marketplace allows developers to integrate its functionality into their own apps, the new Zapps marketplace brings third-party app functionality into Zoom. The company plans to start with around 35 Zapps partners this year, including Atlassian, Dropbox, HubSpot, Salesforce and Slack. Zoom also expects education partners like Coursera and Kahoot to improve virtual learning. This could be particularly timely as the bans go on indefinitely.

Zoom claims Zapps will enable companies to experience more growth and revenue and expects to open the platform to all developers after this year. As of April 2020, Zoom will have around 300 million meeting participants every day. (Unlike daily active users, “meeting attendees” can count the same user more than once.)

Chorus.ai has been integrated into Zoom since 2019 and is now one of Zoom’s official Zapps launch partners. Chorus.ai brings conversation information into meetings so that sales teams can review existing customer emails in the Zoom client, transcribe meetings in real time, and analyze recorded calls. Chorus.ai also tracks who is speaking when, with features to improve engagement and teamwork. For example, if a team member is less active, someone can highlight them and encourage them to speak up.

Above: Chorus.ai “Zapp” integrated into zoom

Jim Benton, CEO of Chorus.ai, compares the launch of Zapps to the launch of Apple’s App Store. “[Apple] opened her API so other could build apps. We spent a year and a half with iPhones that only had the basic Apple apps – you know, calculators, messaging, music, photos. And it was remarkable. We were overwhelmed with what we could do, ”Benton said in an interview with VentureBeat. “And then they opened it up and we saw companies like Box reinvent themselves. We saw companies like Pandora suddenly flourish and have a beautiful player. And we’ve seen companies like Sonos no longer have to build the hardware they had. I think this is a very powerful moment. “

Ross Mayfield, Zoom’s product director, told reporters in a briefing that Zapps could “unveil a new model for sharing, launching and engaging apps”. Mayfield said he expected a “rise in the zoom startups and collaborative social experience apps we were just envisioning”.

For Zoom, the launch of Zapps is an important step against its main competitors Microsoft Teams and Google Meet. By the end of this year, the first round of Zapps will be available to all Zoom users, regardless of whether they have free or paid plans.