Facebook is testing VR ads for the Oculus platform

nanoguy

Posts: 800   +12
Staff member
The big picture: Facebook made a splash with the relatively affordable Oculus Quest 2 headset, but consumer VR development still needs more pushing before it has any chance to take off in a big way. To that end, the social giant is testing using ads as an alternative revenue stream for developers, while promising not to compromise too much on user privacy.

Facebook announced today it'll soon begin testing ads that are crafted specifically for the VR environment of the Oculus Quest headsets. The company appears to be fast-tracking the changes, as the initial plan revealed a month ago that a pilot program only included running ads inside the Oculus mobile app.

The first ads will appear in a VR shooter game called Blaston from Resolution Games, and they'll also land in two other Oculus apps in the coming weeks. As the company gathers user feedback, it may expand this experiment to more apps and games, as well as make them visible to a broader audience.

Facebook is taking a cautious approach due to the heated debate surrounding online privacy and the failure of social media platforms to protect their users. The company says these ads are meant to offer a new way for developers to generate revenue, while also giving users similar control to what they have on Facebook. It didn't disclose what percentage of revenue will go to developers, so it's not yet clear how advantageous this option will be for those who choose to use it.

If you don't like certain ads, you'll have the ability to hide them or even block all ads from a specific advertiser. At the same time, you'll be able to see why you were shown a particular ad, but Facebook promises these ads won't be based on the data that's stored locally on your Oculus headset. That includes everything from images to sensor data such as captures made for the hand-tracking functionality, and even recordings from the integrated voice assistant.

However, the ads will use certain information that Facebook gathers from your profile, including things like "whether you’ve viewed content, installed, activated, or subscribed to a Oculus app, added an app to your cart or wishlist, if you’ve initiated checkout or purchased an app on the Oculus platform, and lastly, whether you’ve viewed, hovered, saved, or clicked on an ad within a third-party app."

After the success of the $299 Oculus Quest 2, Facebook is getting bolder about its strategy to make VR mainstream using advertisements. There are serious drawbacks to that approach, as the requirement to use a Facebook account in order to play VR games will be a dealbreaker for many people who would prefer to keep the two separate.

HTC already branched out of their consumer VR business to focus on business VR solutions, so Facebook's biggest competition moving forward will be Sony's next PlayStation VR headset.

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Dimitriid

Posts: 729   +1,322
While I bet many devs probably would like new ways to monetize their VR stuff, last thing I want is Facebook to literally shove ads into my eyeballs with no way to escape. This is the last mile between us having a clean brain and a full on "Transmit ads straight into your brain" dystopian future and people should probably draw a line in the sand now while they can.
 

Lounds

Posts: 865   +772
If you didn't see this coming the hot second ****erberg bought out Oculus, you're dumber than a post.

They absolutely poisoned the well for VR for a generation with that move.
I disagree, VR on PC was too fragmented and without the serious money and investment it would have crash and burned. VR was too niche on PC as well requiring an above average PC and then the cost of the Headset.

Say what you want but Oculus has kept innovating on VR, the Quest platform has made VR accessible to the average person who isn't tech savvy and doubles up as a PCVR headset. A Billboard ad in a multiplayer sports game is hardly the same as a mobile phone game with pop up ads all over the screen.

If subtle advertising means VR is cheaper and more accessible I think it's a good thing as it opens the door for the market to grow and eventually get big publishers interested.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 375   +303
Hopefully - it has an irremovable head clamp feature . Engage , extend tweezers to hold eyes open - roll 3 adverts - give captcha to release- fail roll 3 adverts .
Use eye tracking - confirm sexuality , fears etc . FB already knows your kinks

Anyway not sure if Oculus has eye feed back - but it will in future .
Diagnose heartrate, blood pressure, drug taking, disease - send adverts - with appropriate gender and like political persuasion- keep feeding AI machine .

Start brainwashing - with stuff you wish promote - nice head stimulation , positive noise inserted .
For Cambridge analytical - instilling fear on 10 million migrants/terrorists marching to the USA - insert fear - cold air, low base sounds to back of neck - bad head stimulation
 
Only the Cult of the New still cares about VR so frankly its not that big of a deal. VR is the new 3D TV.
There is a bit of that, sure, but unlike 3D TV, VR actually addresses a shortfall in current display tech for certain applications, such as flight, space or racing sims. The "full 360 display coverage" and integrated head tracking for £300 is astounding value, compared to thousands for an equivalent using conventional display tech (projectors, flat panels). Will it ever have mass adoption? Not sure, but it's a fallacy to say the only appeal is novelty.