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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.