Zoom will, in a limited test, start rolling out ads to users on the Free Basic plan. This move is hardly surprising after Zoom’s astronomical rise in 2020, the platform is now the by-word for video conferencing beating out staples like Skype and ads are now almost run of the mill whenever a big platform has a free plan.
According to a post on its blog, Zoom said that it will be showing ads to users who access it through their web browser and only after a call/session ends. Additionally, the test is going to be limited to certain countries although there was no mention of which regions were going to be part of this experiment.
Zoom’s chief marketing officer Janine Pelosi said that the ads will help the company support investment as well as continue to provide the free plan. She went on to say that the audio, images, video and messages from meetings will not be used for any marketing, promotions, or third-party advertising purposes.
What we can only hope for now is that Zoom doesn’t fall down the same slippery slope that YouTube went down. Ads can be very annoying and many will just use an adblocker to avoid them altogether. If this test is successful we will most certainly see the ads come on the desktop and mobile apps.