Sorry, FaceTime, no Zoom boom for you

Sorry, FaceTime, no Zoom boom for you


Group FaceTime is a great way to stay in touch with your family and friends during coronavirus quarantine.
Group FaceTime use apparently exists mainly in Apple publicity pictures.
Photo: Apple

Americans love Apple’s video chatting app FaceTime, according to the results of a survey released Wednesday. But they don’t use it for group chats. As a result, use of FaceTime hasn’t increased at all while millions of people around the world self quarantine.

Instead, rival Zoom has enormously increased in popularity in recent weeks.

FaceTime hurt by lack of cross-platform support

A survey of American adults done by Flixed, a cord-cutting and streaming blog, compared usage of video-chatting apps during the COVID-19 quarantine to how these services were used before so many people went into seclusion.

The survey found plenty of fans of FaceTime. “Respondents consider FaceTime to be the easiest service to use, by far: it was ranked highest in terms of video quality and overall satisfaction,” noted Flixed.

But Apple’s offering is only being used for one-on-one calls. And it didn’t see an increase in usage since the coronavirus outbreak. In this survey, 37% of respondents were using FaceTime before going into quarantine, and the same number are using it while locked down.

Unlike all its rivals, FaceTime is only available for iPhone, Mac, etc. There’s no Windows or Android version. “Because FaceTime is only accessible to people with Apple products, it makes sense that current circumstances haven’t had a significant impact on the app’s popularity — it is quite likely that users interact with the app in much the same ways they did pre-COVID,” said Flixed

And the winner is… Zoom

While FaceTime usage isn’t up, the percentage of respondents using rival Zoom went from 41% to 55% during the current crisis. That made it the most-used video-chatting app in Flixed’s survey.

Again, this isn’t because respondents think it has better audio or video quality than Apple’s offering. FaceTime scored far higher in ease of use. Instead, people are using Zoom because others are using it.

All this despite Zoom’s well-publicized security problems. Though the company has been working hard to remedy these.