As part of its ongoing effort to explore new ways for developers to generate revenue, Facebook has announced that it would begin a small-scale test of in-headset ads. The test will begin with a low-motion bullet-hell game Blaston from Resolution Games, with more developers joining in during upcoming weeks and months.
“For now, this is a test with a few apps—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,” the official announcement blog post explains.
Facebook in-headset ads will follow the company’s advertising principles, which means that users will be able to control the ads they see by hiding specific ads or even all ads from a specific advertiser.
While running its ad tests, Facebook will monitor how users interact with them, such as when they click on an ad or hide it, but ad tests won’t change how Oculus data is processed. More specifically, no information processed and stored locally on Oculus headsets will be used to target ads and make them more relevant.
So, at least for the time being, you don’t have to worry about advertisers analyzing raw image data from your headset to display ads based, for example, on the items found around your home. Instead, advertisers will rely only on personal data coming from your Facebook account.
The arrival of in-headset ads to Oculus Quest apps has, so far, been met with a mixed reaction. While users fear that VR ads could take something away from the experiences they’ve been enjoying, developers welcome the new source of revenue they create.