Skype’s revenues have always depended on your willingness to change the way you talk over the phone. Now the service, recently bought by Microsoft, hopes to make money on what you actually talk about.
The company has announced the launch of what it calls “Conversation Ads,” large targeted ads that appear on the screen when a non-paying Skype user is talking to another subscriber while using the service’s “Skype for Windows” client.
Skype hopes that the “Conversation Ads” will actually get its users to converse about the advertiser. “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,” Sandyha Venkatachalam explained on the Skype Blog. “Ultimately, we believe this will help make Skype a more engaging and useful place to have your conversations each and every day.”
According to the announcement, the ads will be presented only to users “without Skype credit or subscriptions”.
“The Skype experience is our top priority, which is why we we’ve taken our time testing what kind of advertising works best in the Skype environment, including Conversation Ads,” Venkatachalam wrote. “As we roll out this and additional commercial experiences in the future, we will continue to test, learn and make any necessary adjustments along the way.”