Skype Rolls Out ‘Conversation Ads’ During Audio Calls

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Wondering what Microsoft had in mind for Skype when it bought the company in May of last year for $8.5 billion? Apparently, the answer is ads.

Yes, today Skype announced “Conversation Ads.” Well, Skype doesn’t want you to think of them ads, but rather as icebreakers:

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.

“Hey mom, I know I haven’t talked to you in awhile, but I was just wondering how you felt about T-Mobile, America’s largest 4G network?” No, but seriously, these ads aren’t too invasive.

First of all, they will be silent and non-expanding. And if you have Skype Credit or a monthly subscription, you’ll be able to make your calls ad-free.

So, who will see them? Windows users making one-to-one, Skype-to-Skype audio calls. All in all, not a bad deal. If you’re making an audio call on Skype, chances are that you’re browsing while talking anyway. Plus, what else are you going to do? Actually make a phone call?

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