Zoom Video Communications Inc. is struggling to convince people to pay for its videoconferencing service in the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to a trimmed forecast and falling stock price Monday. Zoom
executives reduced their earnings and revenue guidance for the fiscal year Monday afternoon, and Zoom Chief Financial Officer Kelly Steckelberg blamed a stronger U.S. dollar — a problem many global tech companies have called out in recent earnings reports — but also a decline in “the online business,” or the more casual Zoom user.
“Our revenue was impacted by the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, performance of the online business, and to a lesser extent sales weighted to the back end of the quarter,” Steckelberg said in a statement included with the results. In an interview with MarketWatch and a conference call Monday afternoon, Steckelberg acknowledged that individuals and small businesses have changed their habits. Many aren’t flocking to the service as often or for as long as they did during the peak of the pandemic, when many Americans were working almost exclusively from home and socializing with friends over the service. An increase in one-on-one meetups, vacations and hybrid work schedules have altered the post-pandemic business cycle for Zoom, executives acknowledge, and getting users to pay is harder. “The big challenge is new customer additions,” she said. Zoom recently installed a 40-minute limit on users with a Basic, or free, subscription, which Mizuho Securities analyst Siti Panigrahi said could be a way to push more users to become paying subscribers. Steckelberg told MarketWatch that the time cap has had a “significantly positive impact” so far, but admitted in the conference …