Zoom is going to start showing ads to people who don't pay up

Zoom Ipad Gallery View
Zoom Ipad Gallery View (Image credit: Zoom)

What you need to know

  • Zoom has announced that it is going to begin showing ads to people who are on its free tier.
  • The new ads will be shown in select countries and only on the page that people see after the call has ended.

Video chat service Zoom is going to begin showing ads to people who are on its free plan, it announced today. The move is one that should help keep Zoom free for anyone who wants to use it without paying money.

In a blog post detailing the change, Zoom says that millions of users around the world use its service for free and that it's "important to Zoom that we can continue to provide our products and services to our users." As part of that, the company is going to begin showing ads — but only on the screen that appears after a call has ended. You won't see any ads during your calls, for example.

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

Zoom Cloud Meetings became hugely popular during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and that usage remains strong to this day. None of what Zoom does is likely cheap and it has to pay for servers, bandwidth, and people somehow. Ads that are displayed after a call ends don't sound intrusive, although the blog post does leave things open for the ads to begin appearing elsewhere in the future.

Zoom is currently one of the best Mac apps for keeping in touch with remote colleagues whether businesses pay for it or not. This move isn't going to change that.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.