Facebook will begin testing ads in its popular Oculus Quest system, bringing advertising into the VR age.
The trial will begin being rolled out in the coming weeks, with ads being tested first in Blaston and two other apps that are yet to be named.
Facebook VP of Reality Labs Andrew Bosworth took to Twitter to announce the news, asserting that it’s. way to “help developers generate revenue.”
We’re starting a small test of in-headset ads with a few developers in the coming weeks. We want to help developers generate revenue and help people find great experiences at better prices—this is a part of how we’ll create a healthy, self-sustaining platform for everyone.
— Boz (@boztank) June 16, 2021
Pending user feedback from the initial trial, Facebook hopes to expand the system to build a “self-sustaining platform” for advertising within the VR realm.
“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 said in a blog post.
“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.”
However, it’s worth noting that Facebook reportedly doesn’t plan on using your audio data, movement or sensitive personal data relating to your weight and height to target advertisements.
The ads will work similarly to the ads you already see on Facebook, using data from your profile.
It will also clock information regarding “…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,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge.
When it comes to revenue, VR developers will get a share of the money raised from these ads, but an exact percentage remains unknown.
The move comes just a month after Facebook rolled out ads within the Oculus mobile app, but this is the first time advertising has been implemented into the actual VR headset technology.
The integration of ads into the Oculus Quest VR system is hardly surprising though. Since Facebook’s acquisition of the brand back in 2014, the company has continually taken steps to merge the two entities closer and closer together.