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Ads Coming To Skype This Week

David Gilbert


Ads Coming To Skype This Week

Skype has announced that from this week on, it will be selling adverts to appear in the Home tab of the popular VOIP service.

Announcing the development this afternoon on its Big Blog, Skype said that “the Skype experience is paramount and we are committed to learning as we go, continuing to evolve the offer for advertisers and to developing great products that enable you to connect whenever you’re apart.” For the past two month some users may have noticed ads from online music service Rdio, which were used as test ads for the system. Skype said they had spent a long time working out which type of advertising would work best with the service.

Initially ads will only be seen in the United States, Germany and the UK with advertising sales initially focused on these areas. Among the ads you will see on Skype from this week on will be from Groupon, Visa and Universal Pictures. The ads will be seen on the Home tab in Skype for Windows, though Skype says it may experiment with ads in other areas as well. They won’t however be allowing any pop-up ads or flashing banners while you are on a call. There is no word on whether the ads will be seen on Skype for Mac or on its smartphone apps - though we'll probably see them sooner rather than later.

Skype says it will use non-personally identifiable demographic data (eg location, gender and age) to target ads, which "helps ensure you see relevant ads." If however you are worried about your privacy, you can opt out of allowing Skype to share this non-personally identifiable demographic data with advertisers from the Privacy tab in Tools > Options.

Source: The Big Blog


March 7, 2011, 9:39 pm

"If however you are worried about your privacy, you can opt out of allowing Skype to share this non-personally identifiable demographic data with advertisers from the Privacy tab in Tools > Options."

I hope this point it well advertised before they launch this. I also can't say i am particularly happy that Skype is going to have adverts. They will certainly ruin the nice gui it has.

What is next, adverts in notepad? I'm sure MS are on it as we speak.


March 7, 2011, 10:03 pm

Not happy about that, especially as I pay good money to use their services. Anyone who maintains a balance of £X amount should be exempt from ad spamming. I get annoyed enough by skype adverts already present in the bottom left corner. It seems ad revenue is the only thing keeping the tech world running sometimes, I wish it didn't have to be so prevalent...*cough*...TR.


March 7, 2011, 11:15 pm

Skype should introduce a web client already. These advertisements would certainly seem more acceptable then.


March 8, 2011, 12:30 am

...because watching 50 ads on TV, hearing 40 ads on the radio, seeing, 10,000 ads in webpages, and seeing 20 ads on billboards isn't enough. Not to mention companies who want to put ads in space and on the moon. Well, I guess this is one more reason to get off of skype and use another service... such as google voice- at least with that service, I can opt out of ads entirely.

Tony Walker

March 8, 2011, 6:06 am

Anyone else think TR whingeing about annoying ads is ironic?

I've got Adblock on for TR's ads - if they were static banner ads I wouldn't have bothered, but to have something rammed in my face, no, (expletive) off.

Chris Hamer

March 8, 2011, 6:09 am

just saw adverts in my skype :( however there is a tiny little hyperlink near the top saying 'hide add' so the advert disappeared :)


March 8, 2011, 6:51 am

It seems Skype's new(ish) owners are looking for new ways to generate dosh.

If this had happened a couple of years ago, would have been a good move... now that there are viable alternatives to Skype, advertising is likely to put a lot of current users off.

Think twice before updating your desktop/smartphone/tablet app folks!

On a desktop, it might be possible to block the ad stream via a well placed firewall rule or two. Packet-sniffers at the ready ;-)

Geoff Richards

March 8, 2011, 12:54 pm

@Tony Walker: I hardly thinking reporting = whingeing. As for AdBlock, would you prefer we move TrustedReviews behind The Paywall? Ad-funded free-to-use websites are an established model. If you prefer ad-free, you are welcome to subscribe to Which?

@lifethroughalens: I agree. I assume the ads are there to "pay" for people who use Skype-to-Skype for free, but for those of us who pay cash to use Skype-Out, it's disappointing.

@Fishscene: it's a free market so vote with your feet :)


March 8, 2011, 2:47 pm

Am I the only person who just isn't bothered by ads?

(BTW, referring here to online ads which you can essentially ignore. TV and radio ads which interrupt the show, I find just as annoying as the next guy)


March 8, 2011, 3:25 pm

My problem with ads is that they start small but tend to grow and take over almost everything (like Youtube for example, it's ridiculous, it's *your* content they're putting ads on top of people)

I can almost see the brilliant minds at Skype thinking "now if we just add a few seconds' ad just before each call/at the ringtone/etc it won't hurt anyone.. or celebrity voice ads, surely people love those"

Hamish Campbell

March 8, 2011, 3:48 pm

@Gk.pm - to be fair it's also *your* content they are storing, transcoding and streaming without you paying them a dime.


March 8, 2011, 4:32 pm

@haim: Vimeo also does all that, with by far less intrusive ads. Youtube manages to be worse at it than broadcast TV.

Martin Daler

March 9, 2011, 12:20 am

If you don't like ads, then why not use regular SIP based VoIP instead of a proprietary, ad supported, closed system like Skype?
As for ads on TR - I don't mind regular static ads, in fact I quite like them - they dilute the orange somewhat and can be of interest in their own right (after all, I'm here because I'm interested in hard shiny things). But I can't abide the ones which move or swim about the page, they make me sea-sick.


March 9, 2011, 3:27 pm

@lifethroughalens those ads can be disabled in the options

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