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Skype To Feature Giant Ads

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the when-advertising-departments-attack dept.

Advertising 178

benfrog writes "Skype will be introducing a new 'feature' into calls for users don't have subscriptions or credit. Giant ads. They are actually calling them 'Conversation ads' because they hope the ads (as large as the picture of the person to whom you are speaking) will 'spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences.' The ads, of course, are tailored to each individual user, though there is an opt-out for that."

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178 comments

A recent conversation (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40314847)

What the fuck is up with this fucking ad and how the fuck do I get rid of it?

Re:A recent conversation (5, Funny)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#40314961)

- What? What ad are you seeing?
- Its some damned ad for. . . [cash register sound effect]

Re:A recent conversation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40316329)

I still use skype 3.8, which is the last version wiht a sensible GUI. If they don't disable it, I actually won't see any ads.

I also use the skype which comes on the N900, which won't show me ads. This is non-upgradeable (and can't be uninstalled with the graphical app manager). I wonder whether they will stop that from connecting, or will it be usable for the life of the N900's flash memory?

Re:A recent conversation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40317421)

Skype was bought by Microsoft. Given their history of avoiding interoperability, I'd say you're screwed.

Re:A recent conversation (0)

mcavic (2007672) | about 2 years ago | (#40317875)

They went through a couple of bad updates, but the current version works fine as long as you click View, Compact View.

Re:A recent conversation (2)

thestuckmud (955767) | about 2 years ago | (#40314969)

What the fuck is up with this fucking ad and how the fuck do I get rid of it?

You got me. How 'bout we try Jitsi.

Re:A recent conversation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40314993)

It'll be a huge boost to Apple's proprietary equivalent, seeing as there are so many iDevices in the world now. One ad campaign will probably result in tens of millions of people migrating over within a few days, and then others buying iDoodads too.

Re:A recent conversation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315269)

Yeah, let's all move over to Facetime, where I have to spend hundreds of pounds on either an iPhone or a MacBook.

Or, I could spent a fiver, and the ad disappears.

Idiot

Microsoft's most important product: Trouble (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315977)

"It'll be a huge boost to Apple's proprietary equivalent,"

Only for people already using Apple products.

How long did it take for Microsoft to convert Skype to be a far less attractive product? A few months [microsoft.com], longer than usual. Will Skype become the Zune, the Vista, the Bing, the Ballmer of communication software?

It must be MISERABLE to work at Microsoft, where the most important management rule is to be mediocre. Someone on Skype recently said he had been a POM, Prisoner of Microsoft, until his new job.

We need an open source version of Skype.

Re:Microsoft's most important product: Trouble (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | about 2 years ago | (#40316215)

No, it is no boost for people already using ios. The boost is the additional people it will spur to take up ios devices who might have been otehrwise satisfied with skype.

Re:A recent conversation (2)

NoEvidenZ (807374) | about 2 years ago | (#40316693)

Yeah, I'm gonna abandon my Android phone in favour of an iPhone because Skype on my desktop PC and laptop started showing me ads.
I don't see how this is going to push anyone towards Apple products.

Re:A recent conversation about closed standards (5, Informative)

Technician (215283) | about 2 years ago | (#40315597)

You can use Skype if you wish. Somehow I see alternatives gaining traction.

SIP protocol for VOIP supports video from several vendors for free. Some SIP providers provide free VOIP gateways to/from Skype and Google Talk.

You can ring my POTS phone plugged into a SIP ATA (analog telephone adaptor) suchas a Linksys PAP2T from Skype, Google Talk, SIP, or a plain POTS phone for free. No ads, no Skype-In expense. I call all of US and Canada for free dialing with Google Talk. No cost for Skype out.

Other than the optional Linksys box purchase, the calls are free.

SIP provider with free Skype gateway - ippi.fr
Free US DID number for free in calls from POTS - IPKall
Free calling to US and Canada linked to IPKall number and SIP -- Google Voice (limited locations)
Free SIP softphone for Linux as an alternate to the Linksys box - Ekiga.net or Twinkle.

Why pay for Skype-in or out minutes? Ads are optional.

Re:A recent conversation about closed standards (5, Funny)

bryan1945 (301828) | about 2 years ago | (#40316151)

Yeah, that will be so easy for my family and friends to figure out how to implement. Maybe I should just dig a dedicate landline to all their houses while I'm at it.

Re:A recent conversation about closed standards (1, Troll)

Macrat (638047) | about 2 years ago | (#40316939)

Yeah, that will be so easy for my family and friends to figure out how to implement. Maybe I should just dig a dedicate landline to all their houses while I'm at it.

Good example of why they should have Apple products and use Facetime.

Re:A recent conversation about closed standards (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#40317243)

You can use Skype if you wish. Somehow I see alternatives gaining traction.

Skype used to be great and everyone was on it. Now not so much. I have a lot better luck getting people on Google Talk. And Skype just seems to suck a lot lately in terms of dropped calls, stuttering sound and slow status updates. On my Android tablet it runs for an average of maybe 10 minutes before the app crashes. Looks to me like quality control ended when Microsoft bought the business.

More importandly: (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40316721)

Please point me to a open source equivalent that can do video too.
(And that I can use with my grandma, who can't handle anything more complex than a iPad. *sadface*)

SIP only works with audio, as far as I know
XMPP's Jingle can also only do audio, as far as I know.
And in any case, I don’t know any client that does video.

MSN, Yahoo and ICQ do video, don’t they?
(But it was usually not really good quality, and complicated to get to work. Plus, I did never see it work with open-source clients. [Including even aMSN.] Sadly. It lost me a girl's love for Linux.)

Can't Wait (5, Funny)

Phoenixlol (1549649) | about 2 years ago | (#40314865)

"they hope the ads (as large as the picture of the person to whom you are speaking) will 'spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences" Hey, Grandma, what do you think of hot singles near me?

Re:Can't Wait (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40315111)

Prior to the microsoft buyout that would have expected something like that. Now I would expect to see less sketchy site ads, and eventually things like trying to recognize keywords/phrases in your speech and highlighting products consistent with what you talked about. So rather than have sketchy ads you have a sketchy service.

For all of the many things wrong with microsoft, they try and bury the sketchier side of their business from public view. But if I call my girlfriend and skype to talk about dinner, and then it looks up where we're talking to each other from, and offers sites with online ordering and delivery if we're far away, or restaurants with available seating if we're close I'm going to be more than just a little worried.

Depending on the ads they could actually be a conversation starter. "Concert tickets this friday from 9.99", "Cinema listings for tonight". There probably is a good market for advertising like that, that's time and location sensitive, but they could be very odd.

Re:Can't Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315375)

Now I would expect to see less sketchy site ads

I don't know exactly what you mean by "less sketchy", but the provided example if you hit the link to the announcement is for "Magnum Pleasure Hunt 2"...

Don't know if that's less sketchy than Valtrex or Cialis ads.

Re:Can't Wait (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40315515)

They aren't there yet to be sure. I'm thinking more longer term plan than whomever is stupid enough to pay for ads in this plan at the moment.

Re:Can't Wait (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 2 years ago | (#40316399)

You know what would make me put up with it (if I were a Skype user)? If they just released the algorithm used, linguistic DB etc. There's enormous amounts of work going into advertising, marketing and proprietary devices that would be of great value to the AI crowd (I'm thinking part of a computer-linguistics library). Even if you put a three year delay on it to protect commercial interests, there's more of benefit to humanity here than just generating bits of green paper.

Re:Can't Wait (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about 2 years ago | (#40317007)

Apparently you've never tried Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messenger) Microsofts, IM program which is FUCKING PLAGUED WITH ADS all over the fucking place. To make it wose, Its the worst UI ever.

There are no good IM programs/networks anymore. Google talk is it, but they never update their desktop client. Now Skype is going to shit? WTF?!

Re:Can't Wait (5, Funny)

kpainter (901021) | about 2 years ago | (#40315185)

This is slashdot. There won't be hot singles ads flashing up on the folks that hang out here. There will be ads for "Fleshlight" popping up.

Re:Can't Wait (5, Funny)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40315387)

I'm afraid to ask:
- What's a "flesh" light? Some kind of glowing clit ring?

Re:Can't Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315463)

google to difficult to use for you?

Re:Can't Wait (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40316159)

Obligatory xkcd [xkcd.com]

Also remember, that which has been seen cannot be unseen.

Re:Can't Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315589)

That's the old Slashdot.

These days it's more likely to be ads for books on how to manage online reputations or survive in a call center.

Re:Can't Wait (1)

MF4218 (1320441) | about 2 years ago | (#40316995)

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who's locality? (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 2 years ago | (#40317127)

I'm just wondering who the brands in the ads will be local to? Me or the relative on the other side of the world I'm speaking to.
When the housewives speak to troops in Iraq will it strike up a conversation on the best local store to buy suicide bombers vests?
When I speak to my Russian friends will all my ads get served up with incomprehensible type containing the letter R backwards?
Or maybe someone in the UK will be interested in the new toll road opening in my city.

Marketing.... (4, Funny)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#40314875)

Marketing department: They are not ads, they are conversation starters. Therefore you should read every one, click on them, purchase something from the site, then talk to your friend on Skype about how great they are!

It's like they're reading my mind (2)

Lucas123 (935744) | about 2 years ago | (#40314911)

What's more fascinating than discussing ads? I can just imagine the Skype conversation with my wife as I'm on a week-long business trip: "Hi Honey, how are you doin ... hey, did you see that Microsoft just added new Windows Phone app?"

time for some serious ekiga development... (1)

aakkuan (2591459) | about 2 years ago | (#40314923)

if the complete abandoning of the linux version wasn't enough, i think this will give just the right incentive for us to start using it and for the devs to do their best

Re:time for some serious ekiga development... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315087)

Don't worry, the Linux version won't have these ads. It won't be updated for that.

Also, MS didn't abandon the Linux version. Skype did it loooong before.

Re:time for some serious ekiga development... (1)

jonadab (583620) | about 2 years ago | (#40315273)

> if the complete abandoning of the linux version wasn't enough

Honestly, speaking as someone who has used Linux since 1998 and used it pretty much exclusively for about half of that time (and a couple of years of the non-exclusivity was because I was using BSD), if it had been my decision, I'd probably have abandoned the Linux version of Skype too.

The Linux version of Skype was basically a steaming pile of rabbit droppings. It felt totally out of place on a Linux desktop (due mostly to completely ignoring the user's various system settings), seldom worked entirely correctly, had to be reinstalled a lot (e.g., sometimes it broke if you installed unrelated security updates to other components of the system), frequently didn't work at all (e.g., in some cases it would refuse to play sound if anything else on your computer had played sound since the last reboot -- you can guess how well THAT went over with Linux users), and didn't have anything resembling feature parity with the versions for other platforms. Don't even think about features that *nix software is generally expected to have that wouldn't be relevant on other platforms (e.g., an extensive set of command-line options).

We're better off without Skype. Hopefully Microsoft will run it completely into the ground in a way that transcends platform issues, and then the whole world will move on.

See, This Shit is Why (4, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40314965)

The Prophet consistently referred to those in marketing as "the biggest suckers of Satan's cock"

By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing kill yourself.

No, no, no it’s just a little thought. I’m just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day, they’ll take root – I don’t know. You try, you do what you can. Kill yourself.

Seriously though, if you are, do.

Aaah, no really, there’s no rationalisation for what you do and you are Satan’s little helpers. Okay – kill yourself – seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No this is not a joke, you’re going, “there’s going to be a joke coming,” there’s no fucking joke coming. You are Satan’s spawn filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself. It’s the only way to save your fucking soul, kill yourself.

Planting seeds. I know all the marketing people are going, “he’s doing a joke” there’s no joke here whatsoever. Suck a tail-pipe, fucking hang yourself, borrow a gun from a Yank friend – I don’t care how you do it. Rid the world of your evil fucking makinations. Machi Whatever, you know what I mean.

I know what all the marketing people are thinking right now too, “Oh, you know what Bill’s doing, he’s going for that anti-marketing dollar. That’s a good market, he’s very smart.”

Oh man, I am not doing that. You fucking evil scumbags!

“Ooh, you know what Bill’s doing now, he’s going for the righteous indignation dollar. That’s a big dollar. A lot of people are feeling that indignation. We’ve done research – huge market. He’s doing a good thing.”

Godammit, I’m not doing that, you scum-bags! Quit putting a godamm dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet!

“Ooh, the anger dollar. Huge. Huge in times of recession. Giant market, Bill’s very bright to do that.”

God, I’m just caught in a fucking web.

“Ooh the trapped dollar, big dollar, huge dollar. Good market – look at our research. We see that many people feel trapped. If we play to that and then separate them into the trapped dollar”

How do you live like that? And I bet you sleep like fucking babies at night, don’t you?

“What didya do today honey?”

“Oh, we made ah, we made ah arsenic a childhood food now, goodnight.” [snores] “Yeah we just said you know is your baby really too loud? You know?” [snores] “Yeah, you know the mums will love it.” [snores]

Sleep like fucking children, don’t ya, this is your world isn’t it?

- Bill Hicks, 1961-1992

Thank $deity Bill isn't around to see this shit...

Re:See, This Shit is Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315603)

the reason i even come to slashdot anymore is for the relevant bill hicks quote. you sir have made my day!

Ad Muncher blocks skype ads. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40314973)

as well as paltalk and spotify ads.

oh yeah it blocks all banners/popups/video ads in all your browsers too. ;)

www.admuncher.com/beta.pl

Re:Ad Muncher blocks skype ads. (5, Funny)

MrHanky (141717) | about 2 years ago | (#40315155)

It didn't block your comment, though.

Re:Ad Muncher blocks skype ads. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315301)

It didn't block your comment, though.

I don't follow..

i use and love ad muncher and it was germain to the topic.

in fact it couldn't be more on topic...

the very first post asked how to get rid of it.

what's the problem?

Re:Ad Muncher blocks skype ads. (4, Informative)

desdinova 216 (2000908) | about 2 years ago | (#40315499)

here at slashdot we tend to be highly suspicious of anything that looks like an advertisment thanks to people who post Irellevant comments mention a certain piece of software.

Skype alternatives? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40314975)

There have to be some decent alternatives out there.. right?
(Popularity aside, of course.)

I mean making a decent voice/video chat program doesn't seem like a huge task... and Skype has demonstrated many times that it sucks very much.. so the market for alternatives is there.

Re:Skype alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40316427)

Qq has a video conferencing tool... if you dont trust them (i dont blame you) Pidgin also lets you use vidoechatting on linux, or via google voice...

It's like on Facebook (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40315063)

Where I see an ad, and I immediately post a status update about the awesome ad I just saw.
Oh.
No.
I don't really do that. I won't do it on Skype either. Anyone noticing a trend with companies increasing prices this past year? Comcast raised their rates from $60 unlimited TV to $60 + $7 each extra TV. Sounds like a bargain unless you are the typical house with 3-4 TVs, then you spend more.

Verizon raised their rates from $60 unlimited phone calling to $90 for just 1GB. Dish Network eliminated their $20/month Family Plan, so now the cheapest rate is $35/month, and my phone company just tacked on an extra $1/month for 911 service. Companies are scrambling for extra cash.

Re:It's like on Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315131)

Sounds like a bargain unless you are the typical house with 3-4 TVs, then you spend more.

Oh the horror. You need to pay 7 dollars to have one more TV. I understand this must be the proverbial straw.

Re:It's like on Facebook (1)

Haxagon (2454432) | about 2 years ago | (#40317379)

Oh the horror. You need to pay 7 dollars to have one more TV. I understand this must be the proverbial straw.

And one more TV, and one more TV, and one more TV. Rounds out to about 28 USD, in my caculatron.

Re:It's like on Facebook (2)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | about 2 years ago | (#40315161)

and my phone company just tacked on an extra $1/month for 911 service

Those greedy bastards!

Re:It's like on Facebook (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40315257)

Considering 911 service was Free for the last ~12 years, it is pretty greedy to suddenly add an extra dollar per month.

Re:It's like on Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40316223)

Life must be tough on the fringe of society. Consider getting a job.

Re:It's like on Facebook (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#40316243)

and my phone company just tacked on an extra $1/month for 911 service

Those greedy bastards!

911 is a public service. Charging for it is akin to the police billing the victims of crime when they respond to a call.

Personally I think 911 is over-rated, particularly all of the geo-location stuff that was mandated for cell-phones and VOIP in order to enable 911 calls to automatically report locations (which has apprently turned out to be too unreliable for emergency services, but good enough for the FBI and local police departments to track people). But as long as 911 is something society in general has decided is a good thing, then society in general needs to pay for it.

Re:It's like on Facebook (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | about 2 years ago | (#40316567)

911 is a public service.

...paid for by taxes and fees. how else are you going to pay for public services?

But as long as 911 is something society in general has decided is a good thing, then society in general needs to pay for it.

...for example, paid through a $1/month surcharge on cell phone lines?

Call me naive, but i'm not seeing the evil evil here. If att were billign $1 per 911 call (eg 1-900-911), then that might be somethign to get upset about, but otherwise what's the big deal.

Re:It's like on Facebook (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#40316971)

...paid for by taxes and fees. how else are you going to pay for public services?

Yes, how else are public services paid for? What possible point could you hope to make by assuming total ignorance on my part?

...for example, paid through a $1/month surcharge on cell phone lines?

$12 per handset per year is nearly $4 billion per year just for the cell-network part of the 911 infrastructure... that is ridiculously over-priced. Furthermore, it is a public service, not a service specific to phone owners. 911 works on cell phones without subscriptions, it works on every phone, it is ubiquituious. As long as the service is ubiquitous then payment needs to come from everybody as a general tax.

Re:It's like on Facebook (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#40315181)

Anyone noticing a trend with companies increasing prices this past year? Comcast raised their rates from $60 unlimited TV to $60 + $7 each extra TV. Sounds like a bargain unless you are the typical house with 3-4 TVs, then you spend more.

I'm assuming that there is a typo in here somewhere, since $60 + $7/TV never seems like a bargain compared to $60 + $0/TV.

I am also somewhat skeptical at the suggestion that the "typical" (whether that is mean, median, or mode) cable-connected home has 3-4 cable-connected TVs.

Companies are scrambling for extra cash.

For-profit business exist to gobble up as much cash as possible. Once the market for a relatively new product or service is saturated at the current price level, getting more money either means lowering prices to gain new users -- which only works if the decreased profit per user will be more than offset by the new users -- or increasing prices for -- which works if the loss of users is more than offset by the increase in profits per user (and may work even if it isn't, if there are resources that are freed up by supporting fewer users that can be redirected to support more profitable endeavors in a different market.)

Re:It's like on Facebook (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40315327)

>>>I am also somewhat skeptical at the suggestion that the "typical" (whether that is mean, median, or mode) cable-connected home has 3-4 cable-connected TVs.
>>>
Maybe I come from a weird family? I had 2 cable-connected TVs in my tiny apartment (until I switched to antennaTV).

My parents have 4 (kitchen, living room, garage, basement) and my brother's family has 5 (living room, kitchen, bedroom, kids bedroom, basement). Is that abnormal? How many do most families have?

Re:It's like on Facebook (1)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | about 2 years ago | (#40316205)

My family has one with cable, and then a smaller one with an antenna in an upstairs bedroom. If the mobile device situation is at all like the TV situation, I suspect that this article [somethingawful.com] may be about your brother's family.

Re:It's like on Facebook (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#40315295)

You haven't seen nothing if you played Farmville on Facebook.

People kept bugging me so I decided after a year and half to log in. The ads pop up and you MUST CLICK ON THEM and there is no mimimize or close button. The whole game freezes up and you have to visit Bubbletown or whatever crap, then exit and go back. The Jaded Chinese ad on is the worse as you must setup a game then click cancel and go back and you can't play at all unless you visit every full page ad. It is INSANE.

Now I know why the adults stopped playing it, and my step kids are the only ones who see no problem doing this if they want to send me gifts etc. Stupid Metrics is actually costing Zangya more money as some jerk probably would be fired if not enough people clicked on the ads. So he made it manditory and now people rare quiting. ... ok end of the rant there but this is become the future. I fear within a year or two our internet browsers will stop and a commercial will play just like TV unless you pay them $200 a month for the premium service of course. They are already putting in rogue DNS servers that inject ads. With the death of flash and more people using HTML 5 capable browsers I can see this happening and geeks configuring their own DNS servers to get around this.

Facebook too will have ads you can't close either

Re:It's like on Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315441)

I guess I don't care. It is a free game. It is there to steal your data and your friends data. If they also want to make you view inane ads, great - maybe people will leave and they will get to steal less data. Who gives a fuck? It might be nice if they had a pay tier where they won't steal your data and they won't show ads - but then nobody would fucking use that tier would they? They want something for free. Well - news flash internet - stuff cost money. Someone has to pay programmers and buy servers and pay for bandwidth. Honestly I personally would not mind having to shell out micropayments or sign up for yearly deals to avoid ads and all - but I think I must be the only one.

Re:It's like on Facebook (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#40315963)

They make money by having certain gifts and seeds for sale with small micropayments. This is just greed and if it were not for the kids I would not play. Now I know why people play less for these annoying games.

Re:It's like on Facebook (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40315447)

Your story reminds me of a BBC show..... a sci-fi future where people ride bikes, play games, and are forced to watch ads in their bedrooms (unless they pay to get rid of them). Day after miserable day.

Re:It's like on Facebook (1)

acid_andy (534219) | about 2 years ago | (#40315823)

Your story reminds me of a BBC show..... a sci-fi future where people ride bikes, play games, and are forced to watch ads in their bedrooms (unless they pay to get rid of them). Day after miserable day.

Black Mirror.

Re:It's like on Facebook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40316425)

Yeah, ads don't work on me either! Now excuse me, while I drink my nice Refreshing Coca-Cola tm and look for my nearest Starbucks tm on my Samsung Galaxy S 3 tm.

They're just ripping off.. (1)

Dynamoo (527749) | about 2 years ago | (#40315211)

They're just ripping off Telephore [telephore.com]*:

telephore's contextual cellular ad system uses advanced speech recognition technology to monitor and record subscriber conversations. It can then deliver advertising in call to connect your customer with high-quality ads that meet their needs.

For example, if your customer has a medical problem that they discuss with their doctor, our ad system can then later deliver an audio advertising message when they use the phone on a subsequent occasion.

Better still, the other party on the call also hears the ad. So, if they have common interests then they can share the enjoyment!

* Yeah, it's a spoof.

Another conversation sparked by ads (3, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 2 years ago | (#40315319)

"So - wow - what the fuck is that?""

"Looks like an advert for some kind of leisure footwear."

"I can see that, but what IS this infernal thing, I mean, like WTF?"

"It seems the Microsoftian overlords of Skype are looking for yet another way to extract value from the working class."

"That's unfortunate."

"yes, it is. I guess we'll just have to find some alternative to Skype now. Fuck. What a pain in the ass."

"No shit."

"And the damnedest thing is they figured the ads would spark conversation on Skype."

"Right. Like I'm going to go on about some ad for Crocks. "Crocks! For when Flip Flops are a bit too formal!"

"See - you just did."

"Oh, FML."

"I think the next conversation is when can we meet again, F2F?"

"When I'm back in town, next week, darling."

"Cool. So, doesn't Apple have some kind of alternative to Skype on the iPad we can use to avoid - LOOK! There's another! I see it as an ad for boil creme. What do you see?"

"Oil. All I see is oil."

"Yeah - well that'll run out soon enough and put an end to all this garbage."

"Not a moment too soon, love. Not a moment too soon."

"I'll check into the Apple angle, and see what we can do. Gotta go - love you!"

"Love you too."

I don't really see the problem (0)

Lyrata (1900038) | about 2 years ago | (#40315335)

I know /. has a pretty strong anti-ad mentality, but this looks to be less intrusive than most ads I still see these days. It's silent and doesn't expand, and you can opt out of providing additional information for ads. The only problem I have is with the opt-out portion, but otherwise it seems less intrusive than ads from youtube or streaming sites (music and video).

Re:I don't really see the problem (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#40315575)

You didn't get it. You can't opt out of the ads, you can only opt out of personalized ads.

Well, actually, that's not entirely correct, either. TFA:

These new display ad units will appear within the calling window of users who do not have Skype Credit or subscriptions

So it looks like you can, effectively, make this go away with a one-time payment (a minimum of $10 for Skype credit, IIRC).

pleasure hunt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315343)

Did anyone else see the ad in the article referring to "Magnum Pleasure Hunt 2" and think it had to do with condoms?

Where's the encryption? (4, Interesting)

White Flame (1074973) | about 2 years ago | (#40315369)

Isn't Skype supposed to be encrypted between the end users? Of course, that claim has always been in a "Trust us, we're trustable!" framing, but if this listens to your text & voice comms in order to select ads, that finally does confirm that there is absolutely no privacy on Skype.

Re:Where's the encryption? (2)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#40316003)

I don't think it says that. They say the ads are based on geography ("local brand experience") and tailored to the user, probably through some other mechanism, like paying Google/Facebook for profile data. I imagine the geographic information is dependant on using a mobile phone with a GPS.

Re:Where's the encryption? (4, Informative)

postglock (917809) | about 2 years ago | (#40316871)

Nowhere does it say they will listen in to your conversations. From TFA, "We may use non-personally identifiable demographic information (e.g. location, gender and age) to target ads."

Well that's the end of Skype. (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 2 years ago | (#40315495)

I'd say this is more or less the death of Skype, since it opens the window for someone to create an open-source alternative which doesn't have this annoying feature at all. Quite what form that will take is up in the air, but really we just need the motivation to put the pieces together in a friendly way.

Re:Well that's the end of Skype. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315593)

There is already a FOSS video/voice chat system, Ekiga, in existence. You can dial "real" phone numbers with a subscription to any number of providers.

I see Slashdot is freaking out over nothing again. (1)

toddmbloom (1625689) | about 2 years ago | (#40315533)

It's a free service - don't want ads, pay for credits.

Seriously, does Slashdot have to whine over every little thing?

Don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315585)

This's another reason for switching to alternatives such as Line or Google Talk completely.

At least the ads aren't allowed to follow you yet. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315673)

"I would like to show you a fasrad"

What did we expect.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315755)

after MS bought them....

Context-sensitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40315845)

"It sounds like you're calling to express condolences. Are you interested in floral arrangements?"

These ads are onliy in audio calls. (1)

deltaromeo (821761) | about 2 years ago | (#40315925)

TFA mentions that the ads are only for audio calls, not video calls. So not all that intrusive. In audio calls you can minimise the skype window or have a different window in the foreground on top of it.

Overreaction of the century? (2)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#40315971)

I don't understand why people are claiming the service is going to die because of this, or how dare they, or what have you.

They're silent ads which appear on the conversation window where the participating callers are tiled. Do people seriously do nothing but stare at the conversation window so they can look at that static avatar image of whoever they're talking to? It's not an audio advertisement. It's just a picture that takes up a slot in the conversation frame. It's going to interrupt conversations to have a silent, ignorable show up on the conversation window? Of course their reasoning for doing this is marketing spin but seriously now. You can even opt out of personalized advertisements so it's not trying to target you.

I really just don't see the problem with them doing this. Skype is a free service with premium services attached. If you're using nothing but the free service, you will get rather unobtrusive advertisements, otherwise if you've been paying for the premium services it won't even show up.

Skype going down the drain in 3, 2, 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40316167)

Next, it will be integrated with MSN Messenger, and be renamed ZuneTalk.

Insulting (3, Interesting)

JohnFen (1641097) | about 2 years ago | (#40316385)

I understand the ads. They suck, but at least you can get rid of them.

What gets me is that according to Skype, these aren't ads, they're "conversation starters" and they hope that we will discuss them with our friends. That's just downright insulting.

Show me the ad if you must. Don't tell me that I should like it and talk about it with others. I'm not your damned advertising agent.

Skype is a great service, but a shit product. (0)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about 2 years ago | (#40316887)

I love Skype, it is a great service in that the codec, the technology etc is very good. The problem is the REST of the program. The program is a fucking ui disaster. Placing ads all over skype is the best way to destroy the entire product.

A friend of mine just bought a Skype phone box (the black box) it comes with a year of skype... but they dotn tell you, that it does not come with a phone number that allows people to call you. You can call OUT, but you cant receive regular calls unless you pay for it in addition. WTF? He was using Vonage, and went to skype expecting it to be easy, but it wasnt. It was a huge fucking headache to figure out skypes dumb website. I actually had to help him because both of us expected that you would get a phone number with your skype subscription. After all, the skype box, is a fucking device you hook your phone up to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyways...

Skype voice quality is great when on a computer with a mic. I would gladly use an alternative with a better ui if it existed. So if Microsoft is going to ad fuck Skype... I'm ready and willing to jump ship.

Understandable and Stupid (2)

Cazekiel (1417893) | about 2 years ago | (#40317221)

I bite my tongue when using a free service with ads.

But come now, 'conversation starters'? Just because I'm broke doesn't mean I'm dumb. Just say, "We're putting ads on this shit, deal."

Ants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40317599)

I thought it said "giant ants". I was hoping it was giant ants. I love ants.

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