Hey, Windows users -- seeing ads in your Skype
calls? Fret not, it isn't an unathorized version of the software; it's just a new twist on "free" VoIP calling. Skype has today announced the launch of Conversation Ads, finally, a way to make cash off of free calls. 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. Strangely, no other platforms -- desktop or mobile -- are mentioned; perhaps ads are being ported elsewhere as we speak.
These new Ads are billed 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." Makes sense, and so long as the service remains free -- well, we can't really complain. Conversation ads are available for marketers to purchase in 55 markets where Skype is available. Users without Skype credit or subscriptions will see the ads during 1:1 Skype-to-Skype audio calls in Skype for Windows. Skype call quality will remain the same. Ads will be silent, non-expanding and run after we've completed our regular detailed quality checks on one's connection.
Haven't seen one yet? It ought to look a little something like the image above.