Skype introduces Conversation Ads

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 13, 2012

Microsoft paid $8.5 Billion U.S. Dollar for the Skype brand and technology which even for Microsoft was a hefty investment that Microsoft did not only make in what Skype offered to the company at that point in time, but also with the future in mind. Integrating Skype into Microsoft products like the upcoming operating system Windows 8, on Facebook, or even on Microsoft's Xbox system must have played a big role in the company's evaluation of the technology.

Benefiting from Skype's existing user base may have played a role as well. Sandhya Venkatachalam on the official Skype blog announced the launch of Conversation Ads in Skype. The new form of advertisement is displayed to users who use Skype to make free calls to other Skype users. Sandhya notes that the ads are not displayed to 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 conversation ads

Skype Conversation Ads will be silent and non-expanding, and only after Skype has made sure that the connection is properly established between the two participants of the call. The ads may use non-personally identifiable information (location, gender, age) to display ads to the user. Skype users can opt-out of those targeted advertisements with a click on Tools > Options > Privacy, and unchecking the Allow Microsoft targeted ads, including use of Skype profile age and gender option there. This does not mean that they won't see ads on the other hand, only that these ads are not targeted using these parameters.

skype targeted ads

Closing Words

Microsoft could increase the revenue of the Skype division considerably with these new type of advertisement on Skype. Most Skype users on the other hand who make free calls with the software will probably not mind the new type of ad format, provided that they remain unobtrusive as they seem to be right now.  Most users I know do switch windows anyhow after the call has been established. (via Caschy)


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  1. said on June 18, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Im wondering how this looks under OSX and Linux – for what i remember, only Windows version have intrusive ads… Does Microsoft treats their users as cattle for making money?

  2. Roman ShaRP said on June 16, 2012 at 12:33 am

    I don’t like ads at all, and don’t care about MS profits – so for my private connections I can switch to other solution.

  3. James McKinney said on June 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    BOO! HISS! Advertising is becoming like taxes. Politicians have somehow decided that every financial transaction must have some sort of tax attached to it. Likewise companies are pushing advertising into every corner of our lives. I have to wonder if it justifies the cost. I for one have become pretty immune to it. I’ll even avoid products that are too aggressive in their advertising. I don’t think I could use the Internet without Adblock. Luckily I’m not a big Skype user. I only use it occasionally, but if this crap gets too obtrusive I’ll definitely be looking for an alternative.

  4. MacMac said on June 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I can’t help but notice the very obviously apologetic tone of this blog post.
    When Google does these kind of things, or even more innocent things, ghacks is all over the place with inflammatory, almost hateful remarks.
    But ghacks is buddy-buddy with microsoft, so we are encouraged to accept any kind of abuse from Skype, a subsidiary of an FOG (friend of ghacks).

  5. Bob said on June 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    I have one of those Skype Freetalk phones. I don’t use Skype on my computer as it is a resource hog with a memory leak that seems to be imbedded deep within the code making it impracticable for Microsoft to fix it.

  6. Damirora said on June 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    I haven’t updated my Skype yet, so I don’t have that option, so glad I don’t/won’t see any adverts with it. If they force an update, then I’ll just use my G Phone.

  7. old Skype user said on June 13, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    happily using version 3.6 of Skype
    thank god they didn’t ban that version as for now

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