Microsoft is slowly but surely adding new "features" to its Skype Internet phone and video service. Today, the official Skype blog announced that it will be putting it what it calls "Conversation Ads" inside the window of free Skype-to-Skype audio calls on Windows PCs. if you have Skype Credit or use one of Skype's subscription services, these new ads won't appear.
In the blog post, Skype states:
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. Ultimately, we believe this will help make Skype a more engaging and useful place to have your conversations each and every day.
Skype adds that the quality of the audio with the new Conversation Ads features will be the same as before. The ads themselves will be silent and won't expand beyond a certain size. The ads will appear in 55 different international markets and this new "feature" appears to be limited to Skype on Windows-based PCs; tt will apparently not show up yet for the Mac client or for mobile clients.
The blog also states that this new service may also "use non-personally identifiable demographic information (e.g. location, gender and age) to target ads." A Skype user can choose to keep some of their information to themselves by going to the Privacy menu of the Skype Windows client via Tools and then Options, but they will still see the Conversation Ads pop up.
Source: Skype blog | Image via Skype