The fast-growing online video app Zoom said Wednesday that it will open up its paid event platform to help performers, teachers and others profit from their events.

The launch of this new service, called OnZoom, follows a similar move by Facebook, which aims to help individuals and groups who cannot hold live events due to pandemic restrictions.

Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of Zoom, announced the new service at the company’s Zoomtopia conference. He said: “The tough times we have experienced have taught us that we can work remotely.”

“The future of communications will be a mix of best physical and virtual practices.”

According to the company, usage has surged since the beginning of the pandemic, and OnZoom will allow users to host and profit from activities such as yoga classes, concerts, comedy shows, and music lessons.

Aleks Swerdlow, Zoom Product Manager, said: “We are humbled and inspired by the amazing ways in the world that have adapted to face-to-face events.”

Participants in the beta release include WW (formerly Weight Watchers); it will host virtual seminars, and Life Rolls, which specifically provides adaptive surfing and skating activities for the disabled.

The OnZoom service will be launched in the U.S. market before wider promotion. It will allow paid or free tickets and can choose to donate part of the proceeds to charitable organizations. During the initial release, Zoom stated that it will not charge any ticket sales commission.

The company said separately that it will begin to allow developers of third-party applications to collaborate and increase productivity with a plan called Zapps to integrate it into Zoom. The initial applications include online education platform Coursera and voting application SurveyMonkey.

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Zoom’s stock price has risen by 650% this year, and said it now receives an average of more than 300 million users per day, including 1,25,000 schools.

In response to security issues caused by Zoom in recent months, the company said it will begin testing end-to-end encryption.

Max Krohn, Zoom’s chief security engineer, said: “We announced our plan in May to build an end-to-end encrypted meeting option on our platform based on Zoom’s already strong encryption and advanced security features.”

“We are very pleased to launch the first stage… This stage provides strong protections and helps prevent the interception of the decryption keys used to monitor meeting content.”

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(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff, but published through a syndication.)