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Now in Skype: Advertisements

March 7, 2011 | 12:29 pm

Advertising-in-skype

Skype said Monday that it has opened its apps up to ads.

"Today we announce something new -– the launch of advertising in Skype, which will appear in the Home tab in Skype starting this week," Doug Bewsher, Skype's chief marketing officer, said in a company blog post. "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."

Skype has run test ads from Rdio over the last "month or two," and the first official advertisements inside of Skype will start running sometime this week, Bewsher said.

"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," he said. "We believe that advertising, when done in the right way, will help us continue to invest in developing great products."

The first ads purchased in the Luxembourg-based company's Internet calling service, will come from Groupon, Universal Pictures and Visa, Bewsher said.

"Ads will appear in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, and advertising sales for Skype are initially focused in those markets," Bewsher said. "You may only see ads occasionally. Our initial plan is to show an ad from one brand per day in each of the markets where advertising is being sold."

As of now, ads will only show up in the Home tab in Skype's application on Microsoft Windows, though the company will be experimenting with ads in other areas and versions of its apps as well, he said.

Skype is promising no "annoying pop-up ads or flashy banner ads in middle of conversations," and it will use "non-personally identifiable demographic data," such as a caller's location, gender and age, to target ads to users who are more likely to find them to be relevant, Bewsher said.

Users can also opt out of allowing Skype to share such demographic data with its advertisers, which can be done in the Windows app's Privacy tab under Tools and then Options, he said.

Skype, which has about 145 million monthly users, told the Associated Press that ads in its applications can be purchased through companies such as Meebo in the U.S., Ad2One in Britain and Ströer Interactive in Germany.

RELATED:

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Skype outage blamed on bug in older software version for Microsoft Windows

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Image: A Visa advertisement in Skype for Microsoft Windows. Credit: Skype

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