Communication Inflation: The Rising Popularity of Video Calling

video calling
video calling

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing most of the world into lockdown, things have changed considerably. One thing that is a marked difference from the last two years is people’s increased reliance on digital communication mediums. Specifically, video calling and conferencing apps have seen a massive increase in user traffic. With more and more people relying on the internet for remote work, distance learning, and entertainment, it is no surprise that providers are having to deal with unprecedented loads. This was evidenced by the increase in call volume to Cox customer support number. Services like Zoom, Teams, and Skype are more popular than ever. But are they built to handle a pandemic?

Popular Video Communication Software

The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be massively disruptive, especially in the business world. With the alternative being to shut down completely, businesses had to adapt and shift to the remote working model to maintain continuity. But that’s not all. Schools, colleges, and universities also had to put a hold on in-person classes. Instead, students have to rely on their internet services for remote learning. All of this puts an increased load on an already heavily used infrastructure, considering our normal browsing, downloading, streaming, and gaming habits.

Certain video calling software has existed for a while now. However, it was never seen as a necessity until the pandemic hit the globe 2 years ago. Now nearly everyone requires video calling software not just for socializing, but for business and non-leisure activities as well. Some of the most recognized video calling tools in 2022 are:

  • Zoom.
  • Google Hangouts.
  • Microsoft Teams.
  • Cisco Webex

Increased User Traffic

The companies mentioned in the previous section have had these applications available for some time now. But they were never as popular until after COVID-19. Post-breakout, the user traffic on these companies’ servers increased massively. This abnormal spike in users has a direct correlation with the time lockdown and social distancing restrictions enforced in different parts of the world.

But were they prepared for this massive influx of traffic? Certain businesses maintain in-house servers if their data is too sensitive or if they are not looking to work with a hosting service. But ever since shifting to the work-from-home model, these businesses discovered bottlenecks. Specifically, their office infrastructure lacked enough bandwidth to handle so many remote connections to the server.

Similarly, as the first wave of COVID-19 peaked, more people began adopting video calling services from Zoom or Cisco. Zoom remained the more popular option, even when compared to Google Hangouts, simply because it allows for more users to participate in a video session. This makes it a very viable option for business meetings, online classes, and conferences. Microsoft also saw user demand for Teams go through the roof. However, that increase never meant better service.

Problems With Popular Video Communication Platforms

There is no denying that video conferencing platforms like Zoom have been a huge help during COVID-19. They have played a significant part in letting us retain some semblance of commercial, educational, and social activity. This is key in the face of a global life-threatening pandemic that has triggered a global economic recession across most of the world. In most cases, only businesses that adopted such software earlier have managed to hang on despite plummeting sales and profits. But despite this, these video communication platforms seem to be struggling to handle an ever-increasing global user base. For example

Microsoft Teams

By the end of June 2019, Teams had a relatively decent customer rating at around 3.3. However, exactly one year later in June 2020, this rating had dropped to 2.2 despite a massive increase in user traffic. The reason behind this was the increase in technical issues during heavy user spikes. While Microsoft seems to have managed to control the problem, there is no denying that a lot of users were significantly put off.


Zoom is by far the most popular video platform in 2022. It still sees a large number of connections and sessions every day. However, Zoom saw a fall in its rating, which now stands at 3.7, despite potentially having the most number of users. The problem is a series of technical issues, as well as the embarrassment of facing a security breach early on in the pandemic. This prompted many users to view Zoom as an unsafe platform, although the company claims to have beefed up its security protocols considerably.

Cisco Webex

Cisco Webex seemed to be doing fine until traffic hit all-time highs in Covid 19. Following massive traffic spikes, the Webex app began crashing all over the world. Cisco Webex is primarily in use in schools and educational institutions. You can imagine the disruption this would have had on a school year already disrupted by the coronavirus.

Of course, while these platforms may seem to struggle from time to time, they handle user traffic well pretty well on most days. Thanks to widely available and affordable services like Cox Internet Starter, these platforms have acquired a very large user base, especially in the United States of America. If keeping people connected to their work or education requires a significant infrastructural overhaul, then that is exactly what these companies need to look into.


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