Skype gets in-call ads

What’s that? You love using Skype to connect with friends and family you would otherwise have to call? And you love doing it for free, with no ads interrupting you?

Sorry pal, you didn’t think that was going to last forever did you? The Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) service today announced that it would begin displaying in conversation ads.

These new display ad units will appear within the calling window of users who do not have Skype Credit or subscriptions when they’re making 1:1 Skype-to-Skype audio calls using Skype for Windows.

Skype’s Sandhya Venkatachalam said the company “was excited to introduce Conversations Ads as an opportunity for marketers to reach our hundreds of millions of connected users in a place where they can have meaningful conversations about brands in a highly engaging environment”.

In other words, it’s looking forward to raking in a lot more cash. Then again, it’s a business so you can’t fault it on that front.

Here’s how Skype says the ads will work:

While on a 1:1 audio call, users will see content that could spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences. So, you should think of Conversation Ads as a way for Skype to generate fun interactivity between your circle of friends and family and the brands you care about. Ultimately, we believe this will help make Skype a more engaging and useful place to have your conversations each and every day.

Right now, the ads will only be visible to Windows users and there appears to be no sign of a Mac equivalent.

The ads will target users based on their age, gender and location. People can however opt-out of allowing Skype to use some of this non-personally identifiable information from the Privacy menu in Tools -> Options of Skype for Windows.

If the user opts-out, they will still receive advertisements relevant to their location, but Skype will not use other demographic information for this purpose.



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