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At long last, Microsoft introduces advertising on Skype in India

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Microsoft has entered into an exclusive partnership with Zirca Digital Solutions to offers its advertising inventory on Skype in India, reports bestmediainfo. Zirca mentions that a Skype sessions lasts more than 30 minutes on an average, which equals to greater exposure to advertising and a better ROI for advertisers.

According to Microsoft, the delayed launch of advertising on Skype in India was due to certain legal issues. However the company claims growth of advertising on the platform would be fast in India as the product has been available in the market for over 10 years. As of now, Skype claims to have over 330 million active customers monthly across the world, although the company does not mention India specific numbers. Microsoft currently offers advertising on Skype in various western markets other than countries like Hong Kong and Taiwan in Southeast Asia.

Zirca currently offers advertisers custom branding solutions, which include interactive banner ads, video vignettes, polls and surveys. The company takes care of content creation, content distribution, research and creative management as well as offer a consolidated publisher platform for advertisers to place ads on. As a part of the current deal, Zirca has begun offering branded options like Conversation Ads, the Connection Hub Ad and Conversation Corridors to give advertisers access to advertising on Skype on PC as well as mobile.

Microsoft had acquired Skype for $8.5 million in May 2011, and had started integrating the popular VoIP service with its products. The company had then announced in 2013, that it  would be migrating all users of its Messenger service to Skype and shutting down Messenger except in China.

Skype in India:

In November last year, Skype had discontinued the ability for Indian users to make Skype calls to landlines and mobiles within India. The company did not provide a reason as to why it did this, although Skype users could continue to make free Skype-to-Skype calls within India, make calls to mobiles and landlines in India from outside the country and make International calls from India to mobiles and landlines in other countries.

The next month, the company started allowing Indian users to make free voice calls to landlines and mobiles in the US and Canada, although for a limited time. The offer only applies to Skype calls made for individual use only (personal or business communications) and could not be used for telemarketing and call centre operations. Recently, Skype also updated its Android and iOS applications to let users send pictures to offline recipients and added a new picture-in-picture mode which allows users keep a video call going even after navigating away to other applications.

Also read:

India To Approach US Seeking Help To Decrypt WhatsApp, Skype Messages

Airtel launches Skype clone Airtel Talk for VoIP calls to India; Double standards?

No evidence of VoIP cannibalization of Voice – Airtel India CEO Gopal Vittal

Image source: Flickr user Ryan Fanshaw

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