Skype, the company behind the world’s most popular VOIP international calling service of the same name, has today announced its in-app advertising service, allowing advertisers to display ads within the Home tab of the Skype application – starting this week.

Online music service Rdio has been testing ads within the app for the past couple of months, helping Skype fine-tune how adverts are displayed within the application. The company admits it will launch the service and then “continue to test and learn a lot more”, making “necessary adjustments along the way”.

Skype adds:

  • We’re working with some great advertisers, including Groupon, Universal Pictures, and Visa.
  • Ads will appear in the US, UK and Germany and advertising sales for Skype are initially focused in those markets.
  • You may only see ads occasionally. Our initial plan is to show an ad from one brand per day in each of the markets where advertising is being sold.
  • The ads will appear in the Home tab in Skype for Windows, and we may experiment with ads in other areas as well.
  • The ads won’t interrupt your Skype experience. You won’t suddenly see annoying pop-up ads or flashy banner ads in middle of conversations.
  • We may use non-personally identifiable demographic data (e.g. location, gender and age) to target ads, which helps ensure that you see relevant ads. For example, if you’re in the US, we don’t want to show you ads for a product that is only available in the UK.
  • You can opt out of allowing Skype to share this non-personally identifiable demographic data with advertisers from the Privacy tab in Tools ▸ Options.

The company also includes an image of what it expects adverts to look like within the app:

advertising in skype 520x394 Skype To Launch In App Advertising

Mac users will be able to skip the adverts for the time being as ads will only appear in the Windows application, although users can opt-out. It also looks like it could move to its mobile platforms also, given by the wording in its blog post.

It’s an interesting development from the company and will no doubt secure many more millions in revenue.