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Zoom is releasing a new tool to let paid users charge for admission to online events like conferences or fitness classes



Eric S. Yuan standing in front of a sign: Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom Video Communications takes part in a bell ringing ceremony at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York Reuters


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Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom Video Communications takes part in a bell ringing ceremony at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York Reuters

  • Zoom is introducing OnZoom, a new way to host events — free and paid — using the popular videoconferencing tool.
  • Zoom has come to be used to host all kinds of events amid the pandemic, from board meetings and conferences to fitness classes and concerts. The new OnZoom platform includes the ability to charge for tickets, as well as a directory of public event listings.
  • Zoom is also launching a new kind of app integration, called a Zapp, that can bring information from productivity tools like Dropbox, Slack, or Asana directly into a video chat.
  • Facebook launched its own features for paid videoconferencing events over the summer.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As the pandemic drags on, Zoom is releasing a new way to host online events — importantly, now including paid events — as well as new types of apps that integrate outside business and productivity tools like Slack, Dropbox, and Asana directly into Zoom meetings, the company announced Wednesday. 

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Zoom has become a household name amid shelter in place and social distancing mandates, with users turning to the videoconferencing app to host events from board meetings and conferences to yoga classes and concerts. It’s led Zoom’s business to skyrocket, but also forced the company to rethink its ambitions beyond its original enterprise approach. 

The online event platform, called OnZoom, adds features to Zoom that make it easier to host online events — notably, by allowing event organizers to sell tickets for paid events on Zoom, thanks to an integration with PayPal. There will also be an event marketplace, where people can find and sign up for public events, free and paid.

At launch, the events platform is only available to US users, but will be available more globally next year. There’s no additional fee for paid users to try out OnZoom through the end of 2020, but Zoom says that it plans to revisit the possibility of taking a cut of ticket sales next year. 

Notably, Facebook announced something similar earlier this year, allowing businesses, creators, educators and media publishers to host paid events on Facebook Live or its Messenger Rooms app. Facebook has said it won’t collect fees from tickets sales until at least August 2021.

The catch is that you will have to be a paid Zoom user to set up events with OnZoom, with a capacity ranging from 100 attendees, up to 1,000 for enterprise users. For anything larger, users can livestream the event with a Zoom Webinar license. 

OnZoom is actually getting its first public test right out in the open: Zoom is using it to host its annual Zoomtopia user conference this week. The company bills it as being well-suited for other companies to host their own conferences, for fitness instructors to hold paid lessons, for nonprofits to set up fundraising events

Health care workers say it’s getting harder to get paid time off for COVID

As a part-time nurse at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Megan Murphy has twice been forced to take a leave from work this summer while waiting to get tested for COVID-19.

On both occasions, Murphy had good reason to believe she’d been exposed to the virus and stayed home, as required by hospital policies, to limit spread of the disease. Each time, it took four to five days to line up an appointment and get the results.

Both tests came back negative. But a snafu delayed the results of Murphy’s first test and left her without enough paid time off to cover her second leave. As a result, she lost two days’ pay and has no sick time left.

“I’m still going to be honest” in disclosing future exposures, she said. “But my concern is, what happens when people can’t afford to have two days unpaid, and they no longer acknowledge that they have symptoms or have been exposed because they can’t afford to miss work?”

Murphy’s predicament is one many health care workers face as COVID continues to spread. While policies vary depending on the hospital, some workers say it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get paid for time off if they feel potential symptoms or have risky exposures.

At Allina Health facilities, workers get can get 14 days of paid leave for COVID-19 — if they test positive. M Health Fairview employees can get paid for all shifts missed — if the exposure happened at work.

“We pay employees for all time missed due to a workplace exposure,” M Health Fairview spokeswoman Aimee Jordan said. “We trust that employees who feel symptomatic will not come to work because of their commitment to patients and the care they provide.”

The issue inspired worker demonstrations at two hospitals last week by SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and is driving the Minnesota Nurses Association to support state legislation to address it.

State House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler said a bill slated to be introduced in the House and Senate on Monday would require hospitals and nursing homes to give paid time off to health care workers who need to go on leave for COVID testing and quarantine.

It would complement a law passed in April that stipulated COVID-19 infections among health care workers are presumed to be occupation-related for the purposes of workers’ compensation.

“People who are working to protect us and provide health care have no choice but to be exposed. [They] shouldn’t also have the financial exposure of missing work,” Winkler said. “They need their income just like everybody else does.”

State data show that health care workers — those in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and elsewhere — comprise more than 10% of all the state’s lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19. State data say 80% of health care worker exposures tracked by the state are classified as occupation-related.

There is evidence that occupational exposures are less risky than other kinds. Minnesota contact tracing shows that as of August, less than 2% of