Skype ads get personal

Skype ads
Talking about ads over skype

Ring, ring. Skype's calling, and it wants to talk about the newest flavor of Coke, or the new car commercial you saw on TV the other night.

Sound far fetched? Well, it will soon be a reality. In fact, a new feature will begin inserting ads into your Skype conversations with friends and family soon.

The new advertising scheme is called, "Conversation Ads," and they'll appear within audio-only Skype calls for non-paying customers of the service – those using Skype credit or members of Skype's subscription service will remain free from annoyance.

And we're not joking about that annoyance bit.

Conversation killer?

The advertisements will appear within the Windows Skype client (and this client only), taking up as much space within the window as the image of the user that you're talking to.

"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," said Skype's Sandhya Venkatachalam in an official blog post.

"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 they care about. Ultimately, we believe this will help make Skype a more engaging and useful place to have you conversations each and every day."

Stop interrupting

To opt out of advertisements that target your demographic information, you have to hit up Skype's options menu (Tools > Options), then its "Privacy" tab, and then click on the "Show Advanced Options" button to the right, and deselect "Allow Microsoft targeted ads, including use of Skype profile age and gender."

Skype will still be able to feed up advertisements related to your actual location, but information like your age or gender will be off-limits to Skype's targeting.

Also, notes Skype representatives, the in-call advertisements shouldn't affect the quality of one's Skype call in the slightest.

"Ads will be silent, non-expanding, and run after we've completed our regular detailed quality checks on your connection," Venkatachalam said.