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Zoom is testing ads on its free plan


Sarah Tew / CNET

People who use Zoom’s free basic service to video chat with family or colleagues can see ads after their meeting is over.

Zoom is launching a pilot advertising program that “shows the browser page ads that users see when they end their meeting,” said Janine Pelosi, the company’s chief marketing officer, in a blog post on Monday. People using the service for free will see ads when they attend meetings hosted by someone else using the basic service.

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The test runs in “certain countries”, although Zoom was not more precise. It is also unclear how long the pilot program will run. Zoom did not immediately have an answer to a request for more details.

Use of Zoom skyrocketed during the pandemic when it became the video chat app of choice for millions of people, both for work and socializing. The company added several new features this year – like Immersive View and a disappearing pen tool – as it rivals rival services like Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.

Zoom said the introduction of ads will allow it to continue supporting investment and access to the platform for people using the video chat service for free. Zoom also has subscription plans starting at $ 15 a month that add more features and extend meeting deadlines.

“We have carefully considered how to implement this advertising pilot, and we did so with the aim of ensuring user choice,” wrote Pelosi.

Correction: In the story, the date of Zoom’s announcement was incorrectly stated. It was monday.


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