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Teleconference apps in demand amid coronavirus

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Teleconference apps in demand amid coronavirus

Global downloads of business apps including Tencent Conference, WeChat Work, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack have risen nearly five fold since the start of the year, data showed, as the coronavirus outbreak changes how corporations work.

While such Teleconference apps attracted 1.4 million new users across the App Store and Google Play in the first week of January, that figure jumped to a record 6.7 million in the first week of March, according to app analytics firm Sensor Tower.

The outbreak, which reached global pandemic status this week, has forced companies to rely heavily on business conferencing tools as workers stop commuting to offices.

These services range from video conferencing apps such as Zoom and Google Hangouts Meet to cutting edge tools inspired by Star Wars to make remote work more manageable.

Some of these newer services such as Rumii and Spatial, which let users attend meetings in digital rooms where they can see and interact with digitised, 3D versions of their coworkers.

Zoom Video Communications Inc’s daily active user base grew by 67 per cent since early January, data from Apptopia showed. Analysts, however, warn that not every business app would see a corresponding financial gain from the demand surge.

Rumii, a virtual reality training and education platform by Doghead Simulations, which costs $14.99 (S$20) per month per user, last week began offering its services for free after noticing an uptick in use as the coronavirus spread in the United States.

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