Time’s up! Zoom will start showing ads to free version users

Zoom has stated in a blog post that it is testing presenting adverts to users on its free “Basic” tier. Users will see advertisements on the browser page that appears at the end of a call. Zoom claims that adverts are being handed out to free users in “certain regions,” but it doesn’t specify which ones. If they join a meeting organised by another Basic tier user, those on the service’s Basic tier will only view adverts.

Although advertisements will not be presented during meetings, it is still a significant change for the video conferencing service. Zoom’s free tier has traditionally had just minor restrictions, which helped the service gain traction last year as people around the world acclimated to working and socialising from home. Even its end-to-end encryption, which Zoom had previously stated would only be available to paid users, was eventually made available to free users.

“With this move, our free basic users will be able to keep in touch with friends, family, and coworkers.”

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Until now, the most significant limitation of Zoom’s free tier has been the 40-minute cap on group calls. However, according to Janine Pelosi, Zoom’s chief marketing officer, the company needs to start showing advertising in order to “maintain investment and continue providing free Basic users with access to our extensive platform.”

“With this move, our free Basic customers will be able to communicate with friends, family, and coworkers using the same strong platform we’ve always provided,” Pelosi writes.

The popular online meeting company – Zoom is underlining that it will not be using “meeting, webinar, or messaging content (particularly, audio, video, files, and messages)” to target adverts in order to avoid a similar backlash like the one that greeted the service’s spike in popularity last year.