Google Duo creator Justin Uberti says that today is record-breaking for video conferencing.
Record-breaking video conference day today, Google Duo creator says
"Today is going to be the biggest day for video conferencing in the history of Earth: By a long shot," Uberti wrote on Twitter.
Justin Uberti has a vested interest in video conferencing or video chat platforms. After all, he is the brain behind Google's very own Google Duo video conferencing app. And so, it is in the spirit of this vested interest that Uberti shows his excitement for the growth in video conferencing adoption.
Uberti was asked on social media how he knew the day was record-breaking. He responded, "various internal WebRTC metrics." In other words, one can know by internal testing. Google is keeping track; no surprise there.
Why today's video conferencing is larger than ever
Google is keeping track of the numbers of users, especially on its own video conferencing platform (Google Duo). The question on the table, though, is why is today's video conferencing record-breaking as compared to all other days? The answer is, in a word, "coronavirus."
The coronavirus outbreak is contributing to the growth in video conferencing usage today. With coronavirus numbers remaining steady in China (the epicenter of the outbreak) but growing in other countries around the world and in the US, social distancing is becoming the new strategy to defeat the spread of the deadliest virus many have ever seen.
Companies have also started using social distancing as a way to beat the virus. Some companies are telling employees to stay home for a few weeks until further notice. Google has already told its North American employees to work remotely until April 10th. Others are telling employees to stay home for the next few months. Some states in the US have already shut down face-to-face class meetings. Students are packing up, moving home, to finish the remainder of their semester online.
Social distancing, also known as good old isolation, will keep many individuals at home with no other way to contact friends and family outside of telephone and internet services. And even with telephone, some individuals long to see their friends and loved ones face-to-face. Video conferencing is as close as one gets to that online.
Video conferencing is not the same technically as meeting face-to-face, but it is the best that one can do under these circumstances. And yet, for many, their jobs will go on as before. Students will still learn in the online environment; many are comfortable with the format and have taken a few classes online already in their college careers. It may not be ideal for some, but it's better than spreading what many are calling a silent enemy.