Skype jacks ads into free Internet phone calls

Jun 14, 2012
Skype has begun showing callers on-screen ads while they use the globally popular free Internet telephone service. What Skype euphemistically referred to as "Conversation Ads" appear in calling windows of users who don't pay for subscriptions or have credits in accounts at the service.

Skype has begun showing callers on-screen ads while they use the globally popular free Internet telephone service.

What euphemistically referred to as "Conversation Ads" appear in calling windows of users who don't pay for subscriptions or have credits in accounts at the service.

"We're excited to introduce Conversation Ads as an opportunity for marketers to reach our hundreds of millions of connected users," Sandhya Venkatachalam said in a post at the official Skype blog.

"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."

The silent conversation ads are available to marketers where ever Skype is available and will be shown during free Skype-to-Skype calls on computer's powered by Microsoft's , according to Venkatachalam.

Microsoft's Skype Internet telephone service hopes to quadruple the number of users to get to one billion, division president Tony Bates said two weeks ago at a prestigious All Things Digital conference in California.

Bates, who heads the unit that was acquired by Microsoft last year but operates autonomously, said growth will come from and from partnerships like the one Skype has with Facebook.

He cited as a key to growth for Skype, which now has 250 million users.

He said Skype can use the reach of Microsoft, the world's biggest software firm, to expand its presence, but without limiting itself to the Windows platform.

Skype users can make low-cost or free phone calls over the Internet using their computers or smartphones. Skype bypasses the standard by channeling voice and video calls over the Web.

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User comments : 4

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frajo
not rated yet Jun 14, 2012
That's one reason more to prefer SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) telephony.
TkClick
not rated yet Jun 14, 2012
It's difficult to say. Should we ban the ads at the PhysOrg? These "free" services do need their own source of money anyway.
Zoness
not rated yet Jun 18, 2012
Ads are understandable in a program that offers a free service that requires a lot of capital to operate like this but the fact remains that the quality of the program itself has been falling for a long time. Lackluster audio calls and constant memory leaks are doing me in, as well as bizarre issues with Windows 7 that periodically arise. Plus the real possibility of a backdoor intentionally written into the program for spying.

There are much faster, more secure and more stable alternatives to Skype.
frajo
not rated yet Jun 20, 2012
Should we ban the ads at the PhysOrg? These "free" services do need their own source of money anyway.
I prefer to ban the ads by sponsoring PhysOrg directly.