I have a love/hate relationship with Skype; on one hand, it’s easy to use and makes it easy to conduct video calls but on the other hand, the app is very good at shooting itself in the foot. Earlier today, an advertisement for a new bot on Skype showed up in the notification panel of the app and thus begins the era of bot advertising.
This advertisement showed up this morning and while it’s easy to brush this off as a minor thing, it’s likely the start of more advertising showing up in this app.
Typically, I am against these types of ads but there are two ways to look at this. This service is free and while there are premium services connected to it, I do not actively pay for this product which means I should expect ads at some point.
That being said, Skype is currently struggling with consumers and I am under the impression that it has not seen any meaningful growth for several years. The company says they have 300 million active users but that figure has been used all the way back to 2013; ‘new’ services like WhatsApp have over a billion users.
Knowing they are struggling for growth, tossing advertisements into the mix does not look like a sustainable path to growth. Further, bots in Skype have typically been awful and I still think we are several generations away from of these digital-boxes being able to perform a useful action.
Also, who is able to type while cooking? This would be much better for Cortana than Skype.
Microsoft has slowly been fixing Skype and now that it is fully ‘in the cloud’, it has been more reliable with message delivery but it’s far from perfect. If the company hopes to grow the platform, they need to start adding extensibility that people actually want and not bots that are only creating more noise.
Tagged with Skype