Skype begins mobile advertising via apps

Do you remember the days when receiving a phone call meant waiting in all evening for the chimes to ring? Chances are if you’re under 20 the answer is a definite no.

Believe it or not though this used to happen, after all, there was no 1471 ringback service in this era, meaning if you missed the call and didn’t have the person’s digits it was game over. Clearly though much has changed between then and now, despite a relatively short amount of time passing by, with 2012 offering us the ability to chat with our friends in New Zealand whilst trying to decide which brand of toilet paper to purchase.

Better yet Skype has made intercontinental conversations even easier, allowing users to communicate with one another, for free, anywhere in the world. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the service’s mobile applications (available on Android and BlackBerry platforms), allow toll-free talking whilst on the go. It’s no surprise then that plenty of people are signed up to the service.

Even less of a shock was the announcement (last March to be exact) that advertisements would begin to run on the software. Now, just shy of one year later, this concept is being rolled out onto Skype’s mobile systems. Lloyds TSB will be the first company to launch a full scale campaign, aiming to promote its mobile internet banking service to customers and prospects.

Microsoft bought Skype in May 2011, and claims that between its MSN homepage and the web communications service it can now offer advertisers 43% of the UK’s online audience- which for one of the most web-obsessed nations in the world equates to quite a large number of people. The news comes in the wake of Facebook’s announcement that it would float on the stock market, a move that has been met with speculation about increased advertising focus, while the social network’s mobile applications may begin running commercials as soon as next month.

But then more and more British internet users state that they do not engage with brands via social media, and everything from pop ups to banner ads have become slang terms for ‘irritant’. Clearly though both companies need to boost ad revenue to continue their exponential growth, meaning these moves are logical outcomes resulting from increased outgoings and financial expectations in a difficult to monetise industry. So what do you think- is online advertising already too prevalent, or will you respond to a commercial that appears whilst you’re talking to a distant friend?