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Skype brings display ads into the conversation

June 13, 2012|By Deborah Netburn
  • A look at new Conversational Ads on Skype.
A look at new Conversational Ads on Skype. (Courtesy of Skype )

The days of ad-free Skyping are ending. On Wednesday, the company announced that it plans to insert display ads into what used to be ad-free Web conversations.

In a chirpy post on Skype's official blog, the company said it is "excited" to introduce a new ad service as a way for marketers to reach its hundreds of millions users in a place where they can have "a meaningful conversation about brands."

For now, the ads will display only on 1:1 Skype-to-Skype audio calls made with Skype for Windows. But that's just the start: The release promises "additional commercial experiences in the future."

People who have Skype credit or a Skype subscription will be exempt from any commercial intrusions during their calls. But if you plan to use the service for free, expect to see an ad unit appear in the calling window when you're making a one-on-one Skype-to-Skype audio call.

The good news is that at least the ads will be silent and non-expanding. That's something!

Skype is owned by Microsoft, which paid $8.5 billion for the company in 2011.

At the time, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer noted that Skype was loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Time will tell how much the new ad policy at Skype will change that.

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