The third generation of video conferencing tools

When we look at the evolution of video conferencing tools, I believe that we’re entering the third generation of them.

The first generation was really about providing the video conferencing infrastructure and enabling people to discuss directly online instead of using their phone. One of the first wildly successful video conference startups was Skype, but it’s really Zoom who won this market in recent years. During that period, the key success factors were reliability and quality of the stream. A lot of people ended up preferring Zoom over the other options simply because the quality and reliability of the calls were superior.

Once the winners of this first generation were established, we saw a second generation of startups emerge. Unlike Zoom, Skype or Hangout which are general purpose video conferencing tools, this second generation are specialists built for specific use cases or industries.

For example Livestorm is specialized in webinars and events, Confrere focuses on Healthcare with a videoconference tool for doctors, Bonjour has built a product tailored for sales teams etc…

The value propositions of these startups is to create a better overall user experience for these specific use cases thanks to customized workflows and more third party integrations.

I believe that we’re starting to see a third generation of tools which brings intelligence to the mix. So far most of the products we spoke about were focused on providing the video calls infrastructure and enriching the overall experience mostly thanks to third party integrations. But when you think about it, a lot of value is lost because the content of the calls themselves a.k.a what you say, how people react and interact etc.. is not used after these sessions are over. It’s a trove of data and information that this new and growing generation of tools is now tapping into.

A good example of that trend is which records the calls that your sales team makes and analyses its content in order to detect what separates successful from unsuccessful calls. The aim is not to blame the less effective sales people, but to train them and make them perform better based on what the best ones are doing.

Another interesting example is which measures the engagement and sentiment of the participant in real time during Zoom meetings. They also provide a set of metrics after each meeting with the aim of making the future ones more productive.


These are just two examples but since live video is eating more and more industries, from gaming to ecommerce, I think that this third generation of intelligent video conferencing tools has a huge potential.