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Advertising coming to Google Voice?

Google Voice
If you've been wondering how Google plans to make money off of Google Voice, the company's voicemail, telephone routing, and general VoIP applications, here's a hint: advertising. That's pretty much how Google makes all of its money. The question is, what kind of advertising?

I'd kind of assumed that Google would place contextual ads on the Google Voice web site next to transcripts of your voicemail messages, much the way it does with Gmail. And it still might. But Google has also filed a patent for a system that would insert audio ads into your phone calls. The patents also describes a system for determining the caller's location in order to geographically target the ads.

It's not necessarily as obtrusive and annoying as it sounds. The ads would be played while the phone is ringing and you're waiting for a person to pick up, or at other times when you're not talking. It's not entirely clear whether Google will roll out this feature. I personally would rather not listen to adds every time I make a call, so I'm kind of hoping the company doesn't.

I also think if Google were going to insert audio ads into your phone calls, it would have been nice of the company to roll out this feature before launching the service. But Google Voice is still only open to beta testers with invitations, so you could argue that there's time to make a major change like this before launching the service more publicly.

[via Unwired View]

Tags: advertising, google-voice

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