Facebook’s virtual reality system, Oculus Quest, will soon begin testing ads on its platform. In the next coming weeks, users will be encountering ads inside the Resolution Games title Blaston as well as two other unnamed apps. Additionally, Facebook will also later expand the system based on user feedback in order to create a self-sustaining platform for VR development.
“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,” the company said through a blog post. Facebook has introduced ads on the Oculus mobile app last month but this is its first major foray into putting ads inside the platform itself.
However, be rest assured that Facebook is not changing how it collects and analyses its user information. The company guarantees that sensitive data, such as raw images from the Oculus headset cameras or your weight and height information from the Oculus Move fitness tracking, will remain solely on users’ devices. Moreover, Facebook says it has no plans to target ads based on movement data or recordings from its voice assistant.
A Facebook spokesperson has mentioned that the system will make use of information from your Facebook profile, as well as “whether you’ve viewed content, installed, activated, or subscribed to an 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.”
Nevertheless, the company is leaving its future roadmap open-ended. The spokesperson has said that Facebook hasn’t determined whether ads will be added to Oculus Home. The company has also yet to identify the other apps using advertisements, although it will list additional names in the coming weeks.
The first ads set to appear on the system will look like standard boxes inside the game interface, but Facebook’s blog has said that it’s exploring other options as well. “We’re currently investing in unobtrusive ads as a new way for developers to build businesses — and though we’re not quite ready to test them yet, we’re also exploring new ad formats that are unique to VR.
Facebook adding ads onto Oculus Quest isn’t a surprising move for the company, and is just another signal that the Oculus hardware is becoming more integrated with its parent company.