How to Opt Out of Skype’s Advertising Plan
Skype announced via their blog that advertisements will now appear in Skype for Windows conversations for users without paid Skype Credit or subscriptions when making 1:1 Skype audio calls. The reasoning is simple now that Microsoft has taken such a large stake: make revenue from all these free users that never convert to paid. Using the Microsoft advertising platform, users are treated to the following:
While on a 1:1 audio call, users will see content that could spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences.
What is interesting is how they may use your demographic profile information and not just geographic data to target ads. You are able to opt out but finding the exact location was tough. I had to click around even with their help:
Users can opt out of allowing Skype to use some of this non-personally identifiable information from the Privacy menu in Tools -> Options of Skype for Windows. If the user opts-out, they will still receive advertisements relevant to their location, but Skype will not use other demographic information for this purpose. To opt-out of the use of non-personally identifiable information by our Ad Serving Partners for the purpose of serving advertisements of greater interest to you, please visit Microsoft Advertising at http://choice.live.com/advertisementchoice
So with some digging I found the checkbox they mention above under Skype –> Privacy –> Show Advanced Options –> Allow Microsoft targeted ads (small checkbox at bottom) as shown in this image
After making this adjustment I would need to go further to totally remove myself from some of the advertising. I cannot blame Skype/Microsoft for this move. With the sheer number of free users they have that are not being monetized, the issue has shown up in the sale and resale of Skype over time. The next step is to see how consumers react to an ad-free service turning to advertisements when Google is strengthening their position with Google Voice and Hangouts.