Anything that seems too good to be true usually comes to an end. This time, Zoom, the video client that has helped people around the world get their jobs done throughout the pandemic, has announced a pilot program to start showing ads to free users.

According to a blog post, this pilot advertising program will enable Zoom to “support investment and continue providing free Basic users with access to our robust platform.”

As of now, ads will be rolled out only on the browser page users see once they end their meeting. The video platform explains that only free basic users in certain countries will see these ads “if they join meetings that are hosted by other free basic users.”

We have carefully and thoughtfully considered how to implement this advertising pilot program, and we have done so with the goal of ensuring user choice. Users will see a banner on Zoom’s website that provides a link that takes them to our cookie management tool.

Zoom says it has also updated its privacy statement to account for this advertising program. The platform also notes in the blog post that Zoom won’t use “meeting, webinar, or messaging content (specifically, audio, video, files, and messages) for any marketing, promotions, or third-party advertising purposes.”

The platform doesn’t say when it’s rolling out ads for users globally and on its apps. So, if you want to avoid them for now, make sure to use Zoom’s iOS or macOS app.

Recently, the company brought a new Focus mode that is designed primarily to keep students from getting distracted during online classes.

Focus Mode allows educators to see their students’ videos, and students to see their teachers without seeing other class participants. With this feature, teachers can supervise their class, but students won’t be distracted by their peers’ video feeds or feel self-conscious about turning on their own camera. 

You can learn more about it here. What do you think about Zoom supporting ads on the platform for basic users? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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