Skype have decided to start displaying adverts initially just on the home tab of Skype, but with a likelihood of testing ads in other areas in the future.
They say that advertising done in the right way will allow them to invest for the future (or in other words make more money) so if you’re in the US, UK or Germany expect to see ads for the likes of Groupon, Universal Pictures, and Visa on the home tab of Skype in the near future.
They promise that the ads won’t interrupt your Skype experience. You won’t suddenly see annoying pop-up ads or flashy banner ads in middle of conversations.
Skype will collect non-personally identifiable information to target ads, which helps ensure that you see relevant ads, but you can opt of sharing your information in the Privacy tab in Skype options.
This does open up some interesting questions – if you use Skype for free then it’s hard to complain that they make a few pennies from displaying and advert, especially on the Skype Home tab which is probably not a view you look at very often.
If you’re paying for Skype and using it for business however adverts are probably a lot less welcome. There’s an opportunity here for Skype to offer a paid for version which is ad free, and maybe with support thrown in so that users can choose not to be inflicted with spurious marketing which they have no interest in.