Outlook is a popular email service from Microsoft. It has around 500 million users worldwide. Since anyone can use Outlook for free, the platform shows few advertisements for the users. However, it looks like Microsoft is making its advertising strategy more aggressive for users of Outlook’s iOS and Android apps.

For those not familiar, Outlook offers two filter options for Inbox. The first option, named “Focused,” only shows emails that are considered important, while “Other” shows all emails. Previously, the Outlook app used to show ads only in the “Other” tab for free users.

But now things are changing. As noted by The Verge, the Outlook mobile app is showing more ads in more places. Even when you tap the “Focused” tab, you’ll still see ads that can easily be mistaken for a real email. In other words, free Outlook users can’t avoid ads unless they pay for a Microsoft 365 subscription.

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

Of course, this is annoying to the users as no one likes intrusive ads. The Microsoft Outlook app for iOS, which has a 5-star rating in the App Store, is receiving some very negative reviews due to its advertising strategy. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft isn’t worried about this.

Apple is investing in ads too

The digital advertising market is extremely lucrative, and it is not only Microsoft that is exploring this segment. Bloomberg recently reported that Apple wants to serve ads in some of its apps.

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

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

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