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Microsoft Outlook showing more ads in its app

Outlook is a popular email service from Microsoft. It has around 500 million users around the world. Since anyone can use Outlook for free, the platform shows some ads for users. However, it seems that Microsoft is making its ads strategy more aggressive for users of Outlook’s iOS and Android apps.

For those not familiar, Outlook provides two filter options for the inbox. The first option, which is named “Focused,” shows only emails that are considered important, while “Other” shows all emails. Previously, the Outlook app showed advertisements only in the “Other” tab for free users.

But now things are changing. As noted by The Verge, the Outlook mobile app has been showing more ads in more places. Even when you tap the “Focused” tab, you’ll still see ads, which can easily be mistaken for a real email. In other words, free Outlook users can no longer avoid ads unless they pay for a Microsoft 365 subscription.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that free users will see more advertisements in the Outlook app. Although users can swipe to ignore and hide an ad, the app will show another one in the same place after a short period of time.

Of course, this has been annoying users since pretty much no one likes intrusive advertisements. The Microsoft Outlook app for iOS, which has a 5-star rating in the App Store, has been receiving some very negative reviews due to the ad strategy. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be concerned about this.

Apple has also been investing in ads

The digital ads market is extremely lucrative, and it’s not only Microsoft that has been exploring this segment. Bloomberg recently reported that Apple wants to introduce advertisements in some of its apps.

The Apple News and Apple Stocks apps already show a few advertisements in some countries. In the future, iPhone, iPad, and Mac users may also see ads in the search results for Apple Maps, Apple Books, and Apple Podcasts.

Currently, developers can pay to promote their apps in the App Store’s search results. With iOS 16, Apple is expanding App Store ads to even more places, such as suggestions on an app’s page and in the Today tab. The company claims that App Store ads are a great opportunity to let developers reach new consumers while also maintaining the company’s privacy standards.

It’s unclear, however, when these new ads will be rolled out to users.

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