Zoom is not having a good month. As it scales to meet pandemic demand, it has been beset by security issues, which it has had to explain and fix. Today, The Verge reported that the company just changed a blog post, which had previously listed 300 million daily active users (DAUs) to active participants. The company says that figure was misrepresented by an employee.
According to a company spokesperson, CEO Eric Yuan reported 300 million Zoom participants per day in a webinar earlier this month. The company claims an employee then wrote a blog post interpreting that statement as DAUs and published it in the blog post the next day.
Daily active users or DAUs is a standard industry metric measuring the number of unique users per day. Participants, on the other hand, can participate in multiple meetings per day, something that most of us are doing as we work more from home and try to stay connected with work and family. The second number is likely to be much higher and give an inflated sense of how well the company is doing.
When the error was discovered, the company says that it changed the information, but didn't leave a note initially that the data point had been changed, or make any kind of public statement, even though the incorrect 300 million DAU number was picked up and widely reported (including by this publication).
"We want to be clear: this was first announced in our April 22 webinar as 300 million daily participants by our CEO Eric Yuan. In a follow-up blog post on April 22 recapping this webinar, in addition to referring to participants as 'participants,' we also inadvertently referred to them as 'users' and 'people.' When we realized this error on April 23, we corrected the wording to 'participants.' This was a genuine oversight on our part," the company stated.
In a follow-up to explain why they hadn't updated the note or released a public statement regarding the error, the company said they had since added a footnote after it was pointed out to them that this was a problem.
"We updated the blog with a footnote and we have updated inaccuracies in the past as we did in the April 1 blog, but for this one in particular it was an oversight which we now have corrected," a company spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Here is the text of the correction: