Analyzing the language of video conferencing

By Mia Glover

The crazy shift in most of our ‘normal in-office’ lives to the current ‘WFH’ set up, has been a struggle for most of us. Prior to coronavirus, some people at some organizations had used video conferencing ‘a little bit’, but then suddenly like a bolt from the blue, we all had to get vey used to it, very quickly.

To say that coronavirus lockdown has been lucrative for video conference organizations would be an understatement. During the pandemic’s peak, Zoom (the name of the organization in itself has become synonymous short-hand for video conferencing) counted more than 300 million daily participants in virtual meetings, and reported that numbers of paying customers tripled.

To discover more about how each of the three biggest video calling organizations; Zoom, Google Hangouts and Cisco Webex, have handled their trajectory, and advanced their own style of communications with their customers, I decided to run some competitor analysis using Relative Insight’s text analysis software. I decided to analyze and compare the language each of them used in their corporate blogs. I took this language data from blogs published before March 2020, to the present day.


Before: Zoom’s blog talks about how users should think about the tone of voice they use when entering into a Zoom call – they talk about how your voice replaces the use of handshakes for a friendly hello. They talk frequently about how they want Zoom users to  feel like they are still having that ‘in person’ meeting when using their software.

Zoom also discuss their newly-released phone system for the product designed to be used in meeting rooms, they talk a lot about effective communication and ‘how we deliver our words over video calls’. They focussed on promoting the etiquette of video chat before it became a lock-down necessity.

During: Discussing security within the platform takes priority and reassuring audiences that Zoom’s technology is safe, especially after a disturbing case of a church’s Zoom call allegedly getting hacked, and the constant rise of cyber crime in general. The blogs talk about how ‘robust’ the system is, and makes reference to the constant testing of their technology.

Finally, the human element of Zoom – their Help desk. Zoom go out of their way to talk about how there are people behind the technology who are available for questions and guidance.

Google Meet

Before: As you may have spotted from their TV adverts, Google Meets are trying to take over the personal video chat scene, but before coronavirus hit, they seemed to talk a lot about ‘teams‘ and ‘collaborations‘ with their main focus seemingly to encourage overseas teams to collaborate by using their tech. Insights from our technology show that they were ten times more likely to use the word ‘collaborate’ before the pandemic, which I believe to be down to the fact that there was no real business need to use Hangouts at work unless actual face-to-face meetings were hard to negotiate.

During: More recently, Google Meet have swayed away from talking about the ‘work’ use case, and with the support of ads and marketing support, have started to communicate to everyone, of any age or demographic and to encourage them to use Meet technology for day-to-day situations.

In their blogs, they speak a lot about different ways  people can use their platform for anything apart from work situations – ‘We hope Meet will help you connect to all your important meetings from work meetings, to graduation meetings, to wedding meetings, and everything in between.’ This is amazing as they have adapted to how times have changed during the virus, and shown all the possible uses for the platform. Compared to Zoom and Webex, this is more prominent as Google are positioning themselves as a lifestyle solution, rather than a business platform.

Cisco Webex

Before: Webex are great for telling their audience how they can help from the very first interaction with them, and the tone and language used in their blogs comes across almost more confident in the capabilities of their technology when compared to Google and Zoom. Like Google and Zoom, Webex also talk about the safety and security features of their product.

During: As you can see from these insights Webex are talking a lot about their inside features of ‘multimedia’ and the mobile app they have developed. Compare to Zoom and Google Hangouts, this seems quite advanced and a unique selling point for them. As Zoom and Hangouts had just touched on the ‘different uses’ for their platforms, Webex attempt to make themselves more accessible for users.

All three brands talk about security of their technology and how they have ‘improved’ it since users have gone up, and coronavirus continues to keep people from meeting up in real life. The different types of users have changed since the pandemic hit, and video calling as become an absolute necessity. The need for video conferencing tools is on the up, so I’ll be keen to see how these three brands continue to carve their niche.

Relative Insight can analyze data from any language asset you can imagine. Anything from online content – so everything from blogs to news articles to the copy your competitors use on their websites, to social media to surveys, to podcast transcripts to customer service call transcripts – the world’s your oyster!

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