Ad products are typically launched in developed markets before reaching emerging ones. But the strong presence of non-American Skype users encouraged Microsoft to debut connection hub ads abroad before bringing them stateside.
“There’s a great deal of growth coming in emerging markets because of how many people are coming onto the Internet,” McMurchy said. “We looked at where we wanted to bring it to market, we looked at how fast some of the different markets can get behind new ad products, and we also looked at which markets had been our strongest messaging markets.”
The emphasis on messaging markets suggests Microsoft’s desire to maximize revenue with its new ad unit. Although users will see connection hub ads before starting a voice or video call, or after finishing one, instant messaging will give marketers prolonged exposure while users chat.
Corrected: An earlier version stated the new Skype ads would not be on offer through Microsoft Exchange. They will, but it's not the preferred sales channel.