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United Virtualities Directs Ads Toward VoIP Users

United Virtualities is offering at no charge software that consumers can use to manage their PC-originated telephone conversations in return for having advertising displayed in the product.

United Virtualities is offering at no charge software that consumers can use to manage their PC-originated telephone conversations in return for having advertising displayed in the product.

The new software is the latest example of how companies are testing voice over Internet protocol as a potential advertising channel. Yahoo Inc., for example, lets users of its ad-carrying instant messaging service talk over the Internet via a PC microphone and headset, and America Online Inc. is testing a VoIP service.

United Virtualities's HotRecorder can be used with many PC-based VoIP services, such as those from Skype Technologies SA, Net2Phone Inc. and Yahoo.

Once downloaded, HotRecorder launches every time users access their VoIP programs. The ad message is displayed within a window where users also have access to tools to record, store, search, send via e-mail or playback conversations.

In addition, users can add entertaining sounds to recorded conversations before sending them to someone else via e-mail.

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