Facebook has announced that it will begin testing Oculus ads within the Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset in the coming weeks as one of its many efforts to explore ways for game developers to generate more revenue on the platform.
The Oculus Quest 2 launched late last year shortly after it was surprisingly revealed as the next new headset from Facebook-owned VR company Oculus. The games and experiences that were revealed for the headset seemed to resonate with consumers — the Oculus Quest 2 surpassed the combined sales of all past Oculus models in just 6 months. Now, Facebook has announced that advertisements will be coming to the virtual reality headset, potentially making this VR experience a little more like mobile gaming in the future.
Oculus Ads Will Follow 'Facebook Ad Principles'
As this tweet from former TechRaptor writer and video content creator Shaun Joy highlights, Facebook made the Oculus ads announcement earlier today. The test will begin with Resolution Games' Blaston and expand to a "couple other developers" over the next few weeks.
Facebook assures gamers that there won't be any privacy concerns with the Oculus ads test —it promises that these advertisements will follow Facebook's ad principles and that it will give users several options to disable ads they don't want to see.
"Ads are most effective when they’re high-quality and relevant—because of that, Oculus ads will follow Facebook’s advertising principles, the first of which is 'build for people first'," Facebook said in today's announcement. "It’s also important that people can manage the ads they see, so we’re including controls to hide specific ads or hide ads from an advertiser completely."
A hint that this move might have been on the way back in May 2021 when Facebook quietly announced that it would begin testing advertisements within the Oculus mobile app.
Naturally, this early test of Oculus ads may raise privacy concerns. Facebook took to the time to plainly state that it will not use any "information processed and stored locally on your headset," movement data, or content of conversations; that last part also includes any audio that your Oculus Quest 2 microphone might have picked up. As far as the announcement states, the only advertisement data Facebook will collect from the headset is whether or not you interacted with a particular advertisement and how you went about it.
For now, nothing is entirely set in stone — the Oculus Quest 2 ads are only being tested. Anyone who might be concerned about this program can reach out to Oculus Support for help.
What do you think of this first test of Oculus ads? Do you think advertisements on a virtual reality headset are especially concerning compared to PCs, phones, or smart TVs? Let us know in the comments below!