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Zoom, a video-conferencing platform, has had an “explosion” in its popularity since the lockdown started.
Connect NZ general manager Keith Block, who is an authorised reseller of Zoom in New Zealand, said while it normally got about 100 inquiries each week, the popularity of the app had grown “10-fold or 20-fold” in the past week.
“It’s been quite unbelievable.
“It’s not just big companies either, small businesses and individuals have been asking us about how they can set it up.
“We’ve also had huge interest from schools, and teachers wanting to connect with their students during lockdown.”
“It is important to connect and communicate with each other, and particularly now when a lot of people are alone, it provides that social aspect.
“If this had happened two years ago, we would not have been as prepared.”
Ambitions personal training and pilates studio owner-operator Stephnee Jenkins, of Dunedin, was now using Zoom to teach yoga classes to clients.
“Some of my clients wanted to keep doing personal training during lockdown, and I found Zoom was a way I could do that and teach classes.
“I have got some more senior clients and a lot of them live alone, so it’s been a great tool to connect and keep teaching.
“There was a husband on a spin bike in the background of one of my client’s videos, so it’s certainly never dull.”
While she usually took 18 classes each week, she planned to take about 14 via Zoom.
“In my last class, we ran the class and then they [those taking the class] wanted to chat afterwards, so I kept the video going and everyone caught up with each other.’’
Classes were important as they helped maintain normality.
“It’s important for their mental wellbeing, it helps with that anxiety and knowing they’re not alone.”
GI Team Training owner Matt Petre was also utilising Zoom for classes, and had 44 people join a Zoom class on Thursday.
“I’m expecting that number could grow to more than 100.
“It’s hugely popular with people at the moment, I think it’s helping people to stay sane and connected.”
Mr Petre was running the scheduled classes from his garage and said most of his clients used their garages or living rooms to exercise.
“If you’ve got a space, a device and internet then you’re set.”