Skype has decided to sell advertising on its VoIP network, the company announced March 7th. Ads will appear in the Home tab in Skype starting this week.
Looking to reassure users accustomed to a user experience free of advertising, “The Skype experience is our first priority, which is why we we’ve taken a lot of time working through and testing what kind of advertising would work best in the Skype environment. In fact, some of you may have seen some test ads from our friends at Rdio in the last month or two. As we roll out ads on a wider basis, we expect to continue to test and learn a lot more, and make any necessary adjustments along the way,” management wrote on its “The Big Blog.”
Skype’s working some big corporate advertisers: Universal Pictures, Visa, as well as with Internet ad/marketing specialists at GroupOn. At first, ads will appear in the US, UK and Germany and only occasionally. The plan being to test them by showing an ad from one brand per day in each of the markets where the ads have been sold.
Pop-ups won’t be used and the user experience won’t be interrupted, Skype assures users. It is going to use “non-personally identifiable demographic data,” location, gender and age, for example, to target ads. Users will be able to opt out of allowing Skype to share this type of information with advertisers, however.