TECH
03/07/2011 05:24 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Skype To Start Showing Ads

Skype for Windows will begin offering advertisements this week to customers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

According to an official company blog post this morning, the VoIP calling service will feature ads in the Home tab area of its Windows-based software. Customers can expect one ad per day (for now) from companies like Groupon, Universal Pictures, and Visa, writes Doug Bewsher, Skype's chief marketing officer.

The ads will be based on "non-personally identifiable demographic data (e.g. location, gender and age)," Bewsher writes, adding that customers can request that Skype withhold this information from advertisers. "The ads won't interrupt your Skype experience," says Bewsher. "You won't suddenly see annoying pop-up ads or flashy banner ads in middle of conversations."

Since the majority of Skype's users hold free accounts, it's a logical move for the company to make ads a prominent part of the user interface. "We think this is an interesting opportunity for advertisers," Bewsher told AdAge. "This is a premium placement to engage with our users."

"The company said paying users may also receive advertising, though that may change over time," AdAge reports. The placement and frequency of these ads may change too, according to Skype.

Below, you can see an example of Skype for Windows displaying an advertisement in the Home tab.

LOOK: [hat tip Mashable]