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Skype Voice Calling Now Features "Conversation Ads"

Skype announced on Wednesday that it has launched Conversation Ads for the Windows client, a new way to annoy users to the point that they purchase Skype Credit or subscribe to the service. These ads will be displayed when potential customers are making 1:1 Skype-to-Skype audio calls using Skype for Windows.

"We're excited to introduce Conversations Ads as an opportunity for marketers to reach our hundreds of millions of connected users in a place where they can have meaningful conversations about brands in a highly engaging environment," writes Sandhya Venkatachalam in a blog. "Skype is already at the center of meaningful conversations, where families, friends, and colleagues spend time together."

While users are talking in a 1:1 audio call, they'll see content that could "spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences." Venkatachalam said Skype users should look at the ads as a way to generate "fun" and make Skype "more engaging" and a "useful place to have conversations."

Whatever. Essentially Skype wants to interrupt your conversation by injecting additional topics into a user's train of thought based on location, gender and age. In an example image, Skype shoves the recipient caller over to the left and crams an advert to the right, this one promoting Pleasure Hunt 2. Yep, that name alone will spark interesting topics of conversation.

"The Skype experience is our top priority, which is why we we've taken our time testing what kind of advertising works best in the Skype environment, including Conversation Ads," Venkatachalam writes. "As we roll out this and additional commercial experiences in the future, we will continue to test, learn and make any necessary adjustments along the way."

Conversation ads are available for marketers to purchase in 55 markets where Skype is available, she said. Ads will be silent, non-expanding and run after the company has completed its regular detailed quality checks on the user's connection.