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Zoom’s newest feature will provide a marketplace for virtual events and services

October 14, 2020, 7:15 PM UTC

Zoom has become one of the leading services for holding virtual meetings and classes during the pandemic. Now it wants to expand into paid events, says Janine Pelosi, chief marketing officer.

Under a new program unveiled on Wednesday called “On Zoom,” the company will allow anyone from a yoga teacher to a speech therapist to a tax preparer to set up sessions on the service and charge attendees.

Pelosi described the new program as a way to help smaller brick-and-mortar based businesses that had been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is an opportunity to allow them to drive their business on a platform that will allow them to make money for their knowledge and provide that knowledge in a great way to consumers,” Pelosi said on Wednesday, speaking at Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference.

Zoom will create an online listing of all of the offerings and provide payment functionality. It won’t charge the people and businesses that are offering classes and services, at least for right now.

Even after the pandemic passes, Pelosi said she thinks the demand for virtual events will remain strong. “It’s not going to go back to the way things were before, 100%,” she said. “It won’t be that the virtual event is kind of a side hustle to something that’s physical. It is going to be a prominent part of any experience moving forward.”

Zoom’s stock price has rocketed more then sevenfold this year, as millions of people have turned to the easy-to-use service as an alternative to meeting in person. Zoom outpaced some better known rivals like Cisco’s WebEx and Microsoft’s Skype thanks to its simple and sharable meeting format. The company had some stumbles with security and privacy issues early on as it dealt with the torrid pace of growth, but it seems to have found its footing now.

Zoom is also allowing other companies to create applications, dubbed Zapps, that will run inside the Zoom app itself to provide extra features. One partner is Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global wellness-services company. The new Thrive Reset Zapp offers brief guided meditations or breathing exercises accessible directly from any Zoom meeting for all participants.

“It is really reminding folks to get up and get out and get some exercise,” Pelosi says. “Taking the time for self-care and for getting what you need to done is going to be really critical. So we’re going to make sure that we listen and adapt the product to make sure that it’s delivering that.”

Other initial Zapp partners range from productivity developers Slack and Dropbox to fitness and wellness services like Exer Studio and WW (formerly Weight Watchers). “Many different companies are popping up,” said Pelosi, who added that she expects many more Zapps will be created in the future.

Pelosi also offered some advice for looking good while on Zoom. “Lighting is definitely important,” she says. Remember that as the sun moves across the sky, the light may change in your house, she explained.

That means people should have extra lights ready to turn on or move around to different parts of their house to maintain good lighting. Sitting in front of a window and facing outside, or even going outside, can provide excellent lighting, she said.