We’ve been antsy about Facebook acquiring Oculus from day one, and the social media giant has justified our fears a handful of times already. First it announced that to use your Oculus headset you’d need to login with your Facebook account. Then it prevented you from using said account to access more than one Oculus product and deleting your Facebook account also nukes your Oculus purchases. Now it plans to bake advertisements right into your VR experience.
Facebook’s VR ads almost look real
Facebook started putting ads into the Oculus app a month ago, but this is the first time it’s actually implemented in-headset ads. The tech giant shared an image of how ads would look in a blog post using a screenshot of Blaston (shown in the header image). You can see an in-game banner ad promoting, “Jasper’s Market”.
The tech giant is just testing ads for the time being. “Once we see how this test goes and incorporate feedback from developers and the community, we’ll provide more details on when ads may become more broadly available across the Oculus Platform and in the Oculus mobile app, as well as guidance for businesses and developers interested in advertising on Oculus,” it announced on the Oculus blog.
While Facebook will be monitoring ad engagement as tests go on, it promises it won’t be storing data it snags from your headset for ads, like info saved on the hardware, conversations, or even movement data. It’s worth keeping in mind though that since you’d need to have your Facebook account linked to even use your VR hardware, there are plenty of other places for the company to scrape your details for ad purposes.
We’re not sure how to feel. On the one hand, ads suck, particularly targeted ones making use of your data. There’s also the whole ‘paying full price for a device that serves you ads’ angle. On the other hand, it offers devs a new way to monetise their products, and we’re all about supporting creators. If you’ve got any strong opinions on the matter, Facebook is, “…eager to hear what you think, so please feel free to reach out to Oculus Support to share your feedback.”