Sponsored Advertising Invades IM

Although I prefer using multi-platform instant messaging clients such as Trillian, word has it that Microsoft will be included targeted sponsored ads in its new instant messaging client. Intial reports are that Microsoft plans to use demographic information about users who have signed up for MSN products such as Hotmail to target the ads more effectively. Such democraphic information can allow ads to be filtered based on characteristics such as gender, age and other general information about a user.

Hopefully Microsoft will stay away from targeting ads based on the instant messages being exchanged (text, or even voice for that matter!). I can just imagine: boy asks out girl, girl says no, out pops up an ad for an online dating site. Now that’s targeted advertising. I’ll be sticking with Trillian for now.