June 16, 2021 – Last month, Facebook announced that it was starting to test ads in the Oculus mobile app to give developers a new way to showcase their virtual reality (VR) applications. Today, the company has shared a look at the next phase of its VR advertising exploration by sharing a small test of in-headset ads.
Today’s ad experiment announcement is simply a test with a few apps, beginning with VR game Blaston from Resolution Games, as well as a couple of other developers that will be rolling out over the coming weeks. However, Facebook stated that once it incorporates feedback from developers and the community, it will provide more details on when ads may become more broadly available across the Oculus Platform and in the Oculus mobile app.
Facebook stated that its primary focus at Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) is to bring more people into VR, advance the consumer experience, and make progress on its longer-term augmented reality (AR) initiatives. The company is also exploring new ways for developers to generate revenue, which forms a key part of how Facebook is ensuring it is creating a self-sustaining platform that can support a variety of business models, as well as helping it continue to make innovative AR/VR hardware more accessible to more people.
Oculus ads will follow Facebook’s advertising principles, the first of which is “build for people first.” Therefore, the company is including controls that allow people to manage the ads they see, hide specific ads, or hide completely ads from a specific advertiser. Users can also access more detailed Ad Preferences from any ad via the “Why am I seeing this ad?” interface.
The company noted that the addition of ads on the Oculus Platform doesn’t change its privacy or advertising policies. While testing ads in Oculus apps, Facebook will get new information like whether users have interacted with an ad and if so, how—for example, if they clicked on the ad for more information or chose to hide the ad entirely. Outside of that, Facebook’s ad testing doesn’t change how a user’s Oculus data is processed or how it informs ads, according to the company.
Some key points to note with regards to the data that Oculus uses:
Information processed and stored locally on a headset is not used to target ads (e.g. raw images from device sensors, weight, height or gender information);
The company currently has no plans to use movement data to target ads;
The content of conversations on apps like Messenger, Parties, and chats or voice interactions is not used to target ads. This includes any audio the microphone picks up when using the voice commands feature.
For a full breakdown of Oculus privacy settings, users can visit the Privacy Center here.
For now, Facebook states that it is currently investing in unobtrusive ads as a new way for developers to build businesses. Plus, it is also exploring new ad formats that are unique to VR, although the company is not quite ready to test them yet.
Facebook commented in a blog post: “While this is an early test, we’re excited by the opportunity to open up new revenue streams for developers and as a result, broaden the type of apps and content on the Oculus platform. A more profitable content ecosystem is a critical step on the path to consumer VR becoming truly mainstream. And that’s something we think is worth celebrating.”
Although it is not likely that Oculus users will necessarily be “celebrating” the inclusion of ads into their VR experiences, one can’t really be surprised that the company is making this step, given that Facebook’s business model is built around targeted advertising based on user data.
For more information on Oculus from Facebook, please visit the company’s website.
Image credit: Facebook
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About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he covers news articles on both the AR and VR industries. He also has an interest in human augmentation technology as a whole, and does not just limit his learning specifically to the visual experience side of things.
Every weekend VRFocus gathers together vacancies from across the virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) industry, in locations around the globe to help make finding that ideal job easier. Below is a selection of roles that are currently accepting applications across a number of disciplines, all within departments and companies that focus on immersive entertainment.
Don’t forget, if there wasn’t anything that took your fancy this week there’s always last week’s listings on The VR Job Hubto check as well.
If you are an employer looking for someone to fill an immersive technology related role – regardless of the industry – don’t forget you can send us the lowdown on the position and we’ll be sure to feature it in that following week’s feature. Details should be sent to Peter Graham ([email protected]).
We’ll see you next week on VRFocus at the usual time of 3PM (UK) for another selection of jobs from around the world.
Editor at VRFocus who has reported on the VR industry since 2015. A keen gamer since the days of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Peter enjoys covering all aspects of the technology; from the latest consumer hardware to enterprise use cases.
Follow along as Norm embarks on the Eaglemoss Star Trek USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D model kit! In this episode, we start putting together parts from the Enterprise’s engineering section! Learn more about this model at https://en-us.eaglemoss.com/hero-collector/star-trek/uss-enterprise-buildup Star Trek USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Model Kit (Part 1): https://youtu.be/QavuULFfu3U Star Trek USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Model Kit (Part 2): https://youtu.be/_hkf1vWUH-M Star Trek USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Model Kit (Part 3): https://youtu.be/AYC0pfRDdYQ Star Trek USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Model Kit (Part 4): https://youtu.be/FZmINF4zPqA Star Trek USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Model Kit (Part 5): https://youtu.be/nL8reMb8lBc Disclosure: This kit was provided by the manufacturer for purposes of review. Join this channel to support Tested and get access to perks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiDJtJKMICpb9B1qf7qjEOA/join Tested Ts, stickers, mugs and more: https://tested-store.com Subscribe for more videos (and click the bell for notifications): http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=testedcom Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/testedcom Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/testedcom Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/testedcom/ Discord: https://www.discord.gg/tested Amazon Storefront: http://www.amazon.com/shop/adamsavagestested Savage Industries T-shirts: https://cottonbureau.com/stores/savage-merchandising#/shop Tested is: Adam Savage http://www.twitter.com/donttrythis Norman Chan http://www.twitter.com/nchan Joey Fameli http://www.joeyfameli.com Gunther Kirsch https://guntherkirsch.com Ryan Kiser https://www.instagram.com/ryan.kiser Jen Schachter http://www.jenschachter.com Kishore Hari http://www.twitter.com/sciencequiche Sean Charlesworth http://www.twitter.com/cworthdynamics Jeremy Williams http://www.twitter.com/jerware Kayte Sabicer https://www.instagram.com/kaytesabicer Bill Doran https://twitter.com/chinbeard Ariel Waldman https://youtube.com/arielwaldman Darrell Maloney https://www.youtube.com/brokennerd Kristen Lomasney https://twitter.com/krystynlo Intro bumper by Abe Dieckman Thanks for watching!
Blade Runner: Black Lotus is coming to Adult Swim in the fall. But what is it?
A new trailer for the team-up between the Cartoon Network offshoot and anime streamer Crunchyroll serves us a first look at this CG take on the sci-fi dystopia dreamed up by filmmaker Ridley Scott. The 13-episode series stars, on the English-language side, Jessica Henwick (Netflix Marvel’s Colleen Wing) as a female replicant with a mysterious backstory and purpose.
Most of what we know about the upcoming series is revealed in this trailer, which amounts to our first proper look at what Adult Swim and Crunchyroll have cooked up. It’s appropriately rainy and moody for a Blade Runner story, and yes, that is the voice of Succession‘s Brian Cox at around the one-minute mark.
Let’s talk about Mark Zuckerberg and the metaverse, including interoperability. In a recent declaration, Mr Zuckerberg laid out his five-year plan to make Facebook known as a ‘metaverse company,’ rather than a mobile internet company. We’ve known about Facebook’s motivation to explore the next computing platform for some time, but this is the most public exploration of the CEO’s future vision.
I can draw a lot from the announcement and the subsequent interviews, but there is one important strand I will focus on: unparalleled interoperability within the metaverse. And it might not be attainable.
In summary, Mr Zuckerberg expects some siloing to happen. In a recent interview with the Verge, he notes that he wants to reach as many people as possible, and with wide-reaching access:
‘We want to make [social systems] as affordable as possible, we want to make them as unified as possible, and part of that is making sure that things can run everywhere, can run across different platforms, [and] can talk to each other.’ But at the same time, he expects some siloes as different companies will have ‘different visions’ of the future. Which makes sense, as several companies create networks that define their own ways of open access.
It also makes sense that he wants as open access as possible. Facebook is primarily a social media company, so if they own the advertising space of an open metaverse, then their reach would be unparalleled compared to other advertising companies. Though by that point, Facebook would have also diversified their portfolio into other types of services within the virtual space.
But what worries me is that he calls Matthew Ball’s vision of the metaverse as ‘idealistic’ that it will develop in a particular way. Mr Zuckerberg focuses on how companies may define interoperability in different ways, from decentralisation to universal set standards. But looking deeper, it might indicate that he expects several companies to have power within the metaverse by building the foundations of it, shaping its form and future. It’s more difficult to have checks to power if they build your world brick-by-brick.
The metaverse discussion is nebulous because we can’t define its future. Like others, Facebook sees a stake in the future and wants to play its part, to future-proof the business. But like any building, it must be built on the firm foundations of sound principles, not the shifting sands of corporate interest. So far, Facebook’s goals are good on paper – but I am intrigued about how they might change in five years’ time.
The above might indicate that I dislike Facebook. Not so; I use their services every day and it connects me with my friends and family. But I also know how powerful the company is, and I want it to grow in a direction that helps everyone in society, rather than fragmenting it.
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Tom Ffiske specialises in writing about VR, AR, and MR across the immersive reality industry. Tom is based in London.
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