Zoom announced in a blog post that it has started showing ads to basic users. Thus, ads will appear on the browser page shown to users at the end of a search. Zoom highlights that the ads are available to free users in certain countries, but does not detail what exactly they are. The service states that ads will be shown to basic users only if they join a meeting organized by another basic user.

While the ads won’t be shown during meetings, it could potentially be a big change for the video conferencing service. Zoom has generally only brought small tweaks to its free tier, which has helped the service’s popularity over the past year as people around the world adapt to work and socialize from home. Even end-to-end encryption, which Zoom initially said would be limited to paid users, later reached free users as well.

The biggest constraint on Zoom’s free use so far is the 40-minute limit on the length of group calls. Zoom’s chief marketing officer, Janine Pelosi, says it needs to start showing ads to support investments and continue to give free core users access to their robust platform.

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Michael Lewis


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