Microsoft puts more ads in Outlook app, makes them look like emails

Anyone who uses the Outlook app for email sees more ads, and frustratingly, Microsoft has made them look like emails.

As reported by The Verge(Opens in a new window), Microsoft has been increasing the number of free ads Outlook app users have been seeing for a few months now. You can enable “Targeted Inbox” to limit the ads displayed, but there will still be an “Other” tab for email that Microsoft has not deemed important enough to be in the targeted list. Either way, you will see more ads.

More ads are frustrating, but Microsoft also designed them to look a lot like emails. Except for a small “Ad” tag, you’d be forgiven for clicking on it thinking you were about to read a legitimate email. If you open one, it uses the in-app browser to display ad content.

Of course, these ads will never end up in a spam folder, and swiping to remove them only does so temporarily. Some Outlook users, such as Nick Smith(Opens in a new window)are particularly annoyed.

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Microsoft offers a way to avoid ads, but as you’ve probably guessed, it involves spending money. A Microsoft 365 subscription will remove ads from the Outlook app on Android or iOS. A personal subscription costs $69.99 per year(Opens in a new window) and includes access to Microsoft Office apps, a number of premium features for Outlook, and 1TB of cloud storage. A family plan costs $99.99 and offers the same for up to six people.

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