Zoom quietly reframed its 300 million daily user claim as Microsoft boasts 75 million during earnings report

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Following Microsoft’s  latest FY20 Q3 earnings report yesterday, among the questions asked by investors interested future outcomes for the company was one that addressed the 300 million pound elephant in the room that’s manifested itself as a competitor productivity communications service, Zoom and how Microsoft plans to combat its goliath like mindshare.

While the question was expertly fielded by the combo of CEO Satya Nadella and CIO Amy Hood who tag-teamed an answer about commitment to Teams and its relative explosive growth of 70% year over year, the mindshare reference to Zoom’s market presence does highlight yet another misconception perpetrated by Zoom’s less than scrupulous tactics.

Shortly before Microsoft got on the mic today to announce that its latest productivity communications platform Teams racked up 75 million daily active users, would-be competitor Zoom held a victory lap for roughly a month with a rather impressive 300 million daily active user count.

While Microsoft’s 70 percent spike month over a month may seem modest in the shadow of Zoom’s 300 million claims, it seems Zoom may have mistakenly misrepresented their initial user accolades. Senior editor at The Verge Tom Warren shines some light on a quiet edit made to the Zoom blog just a few days ago, deleting the “more than 300 million daily users” claim and updated the reference to read “300 million daily Zoom meeting participants.” While it’s a subtle semantic correction, the distinction is quite vast.

Daily users and daily meetings are counted differently and most communication services draw a line between the two as they often represent the number of individuals participating in usage of the service versus the number of times the platform is pinged by an individual. 300 million meetings a day isn’t anything to scoff at but it is a bit different than confirming 75 million distinct users a day.

As of now, Zoom is keeping its daily user numbers close to the vest as it presumably attempts to leverage every new opportunity its COVID-19 related mind share has brought it. In the same vein, Microsoft is pushing Teams as the face of its productivity communications tool and leveraging its relative growth, and a 70 percent spike over the past three months is a good indicator that its gambit is paying dividends for investors.