Skype’s New Passive-Aggressive Monetization Idea: “Conversation Ads”


Venture Beat
June 15, 2012

Skype is pushing ads into the conversation view, basically forcing its users to take in a little commercial content with each call they make.

The company said it’s personalizing the content and is hoping you’ll even discuss it with your friends while you talk. They’re even calling the new inventory “Conversation Ads.”

Here’s how I imagine that “conversation” going down:

“Hi, Dude, are you coming to bowling practice… Wait, what the [expletive deleted]?”

“What’s wrong, Walter?”

“Dude, there’s a huge ad right next to your face now.”

“What are you talking about, Walter?”

“It’s a [expletive deleted] ad for something called ‘Pleasure Hunt 2,’ and it’s right next to your face.”

“Walter, what the [expletive deleted] are you talking about?”

“I’m talking about unchecked commercialism, Dude.”

“Just take it easy, Walter. You don’t even pay for Skype. If you did, they probably wouldn’t be showing you ads.”

Yes, the company says the ad units will only appear in Skype for Windows one-to-one calls for users that don’t have a Skype subscription or Skype Credits. If you pay, you’re safe — for now.

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