Earlier in June, Facebook revealed that it began testing advertisements that will appear in its Oculus virtual reality headsets. The firm said in May that it would begin displaying advertisements within the Oculus mobile app, but the revelation in June marked the first time the social media giant claims it will show ads within its virtual reality headsets.
The Oculus headset advertisements will first show in Resolution Games’ shooter game Blaston. On the Oculus blog, the firm announced:
“Last month, we announced that we’re starting to test ads in the Oculus mobile app to give developers a new way to showcase their VR applications. Today, we’re excited to share a look at the next phase of that exploration: a small test of in-headset ads. The experiment will begin with Blaston from Resolution Games and a couple other developers that will be rolling out over the coming weeks. Our primary focus at Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) is to bring more people into VR, advance the consumer experience, and make progress on our longer-term augmented reality initiatives. We’re also exploring new ways for developers to generate revenue—this is a key part of ensuring we’re creating a self-sustaining platform that can support a variety of business models that unlock new types of content and audiences. It also helps us continue to make innovative AR/VR hardware more accessible to more people.”
Oculus headset ads might be a huge move for Facebook, which relies on advertising for more than 97 percent of its income. Those adverts are currently only shown to users of the company’s Facebook and Instagram social media platforms. Facebook also stated that these advertisements might provide new revenue streams for software developers. The ads will adhere to Facebook’s advertising guidelines and provide users with the same level of control that exists on Facebook. This includes the ability to block certain adverts or block certain sponsors. Users can also choose “Why am I seeing this ad?” to learn more about the advertisements they are seeing.
The ads will not be based on any data kept locally on users’ headsets, such as photos from their devices’ sensors or images of their hands from the hand-tracking feature, according to Facebook. We already hate the sound of this and what it could mean for the future of technology.