Zoom Rolling Out Advertisement Program for Free Users

To keep its service free, Zoom will experiment with displaying ads after video calls.

Zoom has been one of the most popular video chat apps over the last year and a half, and in an effort to keep growing the platform, some users will now see advertisements in the app for the first time.

Zoom announced this week that it will be rolling out an advertising program for free Basic users that will show ads on the browser page that users see after a meeting ends.

“For this initial program, ads will be rolled out only on the browser page users see once they end their meeting,” the company says. “Only free Basic users in certain countries will see these ads if they join meetings that are hosted by other free Basic users.”

Janine Pelosi, chief marketing officer at Zoom, said the company was making the decision to add advertising to the platform as a way to “support investment and continue providing free Basic users with access to our robust platform.”

However, Zoom stresses it won’t be using data from user video calls for ad-targeting purposes. “As noted in our Privacy Statement, we will not use meeting, webinar, or messaging content (specifically, audio, video, files, and messages) for any marketing, promotions, or third-party advertising purposes,” the company says.

Instead, the ads will rely on browser-based cookies to serve up relevant marketing to users. The banner ads on Zoom’s website will also feature a link, enabling users to access the cookie management tool.

Zoom’s use skyrocketed during the pandemic as it became the video chat app of choice for millions of people for both work and socializing. The company has added several new features this year — such as Immersive View and a vanishing pen tool — as it competes with rival services like Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.

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