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Facebook testing Ads in VR Oculus apps and Games

Summary

Facebook is starting to test ads in VR apps on the Oculus platform. Currently, it’s primarily going to be on the Quest, though is likely going to expand to the other devices. Facebook will expand their system based on the feedback of users, claiming that it’s aim is to create a “self-sustainable platform” for VR development. There are already ads on the Oculus mobile app since last month, but it’s limited to only Oculus data.

 

Quote from Facebook

Quote

“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,”

 

Quote from The Verge

Quote

As on Facebook’s non-VR apps, you can block specific posts or companies from appearing in ad slots. And Facebook says it’s not changing how it collects or analyzes user information. It says that some of the most sensitive data — like raw images from Oculus headset cameras and weight or height information from Oculus Move fitness tracking — remains solely on users’ devices. Also, Facebook says it has “no plans” to target ads based on movement data or recordings from its voice assistant.

 

A spokesperson from Facebook mentioned that the ad-system will use information from your Facebook profile as well as:

Quote

“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.”

 

My thoughts

I once considered to buy a Oculus Quest as a means of gaining access to VR in a "cheap" way, however their actions in creating ads within VR apps as well as the requirement of a Facebook login (of which I’m certain there’s already a way to avoid that) makes me not want to get a Quest and just try to find a relatively cheap WMR headset. Though with that said, the "cheap" ones are unfortunately a bit rare where I live. I’ll be glad though if someone manages to make an adblock for those in VR. 

 

Sources

https://www.theverge.com/2021/6/16/22535511/facebook-ads-oculus-quest-vr-apps

https://www.engadget.com/oculus-quest-in-app-ads-204830206.html

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There could be a legitimate legal issue with this depending on what the tos says

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No. Just no. This is similar to the BS EA tried to pull with NBA 2k21. I'm slowly losing whatever sliver of hope I had left for a not-dystopian future where literally everything is riddled with ads. This also solidifies my choice not to buy a Quest I guess.

5 minutes ago, Master Delta Chief said:

it has “no plans” to target ads based on movement data or recordings from its voice assistant.

Right. Who do they think will believe this lol.

6 minutes ago, Master Delta Chief said:

you can block specific posts or companies from appearing in ad slots

So in other words when you "buy" a Quest you're just putting in a down payment and paying for the rest of its live through ads. Do we own nothing anymore nowadays?

3 minutes ago, Master Delta Chief said:

whether you’ve <snip> added an app to your cart

This I absolutely hate. I had this with another company as well. I was pondering to buy it, but in the end decided not to. Literally every few days I got an email reminding me it was in my cart, asking my why I didn't buy it, that they were happy to answer questions before I bought. The worst part is I didn't even have an account, they literally farmed the email from a half filled in, unsubmitted checkout form (no it wasn't a shady product, but this practise is in my opinion).

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When do you think Facebook is going to change it's name to IOI? The advertising department probably watched ready player one and mixed up who the bad guys were.

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13 minutes ago, GhostRoadieBL said:

When do you think Facebook is going to change it's name to IOI? The advertising department probably watched ready player one and mixed up who the bad guys were.

God, why watched? Read people, read, the movie and book share name alone.

IOI makes much more sense in the book.

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30 minutes ago, tikker said:

No. Just no. This is similar to the BS EA tried to pull with NBA 2k21. I'm slowly losing whatever sliver of hope I had left for a not-dystopian future where literally everything is riddled with ads. This also solidifies my choice not to buy a Quest I guess.

I legit hope that someone manages to mod in an adblock within the Oculus software like they did with preventing to login with a Facebook account, just as a response to this kind of annoying corpo behaviour. Doubt that a PiHole or other solution will help to block ads, but who knows. 

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It was obvious this was going to happen, but still sucks for those that thought they were getting a good deal on a device that they'd then be buying games & programs for.

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You can't put ads on stuff people pay for...

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30 minutes ago, HelpfulTechWizard said:

God, why watched? Read people, read, the movie and book share name alone.

IOI makes much more sense in the book.

The books were much better, do you really think an advertising agency employee can read based on how their ads end up?

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1 minute ago, GhostRoadieBL said:

The books were much better, do you really think an advertising agency employee can read based on how their ads end up?

They probably only know how to read the numbers they make.

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18 minutes ago, Vishera said:

You can't put ads on stuff people pay for...

What about sporting events? Or Netflix? Pre-roll before movies in theatres?

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3 minutes ago, GhostRoadieBL said:

What about sporting events?

You don't buy the teams or stadiums,you just pay to see a game.

It's fine as long as it isn't something that you own,same for Netflix and movie theaters.

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Just now, Vishera said:

You don't buy the teams or stadiums,you just pay to see a game.

It's fine as long as it isn't something that you own,same for Netflix and movie theaters.

So in your opinion ads are fine on content but not devices?

I don't see the difference between the content of a game and the content of a movie.

Advertisers pay billions per year to feature their car or their ads on billboards in a movie, does buying it on bluray change that? No, it's just subtler most of the time so subconscious conditioning happens instead of in your face.

Neither should be advertised in, but advertising is toxic to everyone subjected to it, regardless of media type.

 

Sports teams only have sponsors to show off logos and often evade taxes, websites have banners and popups to support content hosting, all content has some form of advertising from agencies making trillions of dollars and paying nearly nothing to creators

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Depends how and where the ads are.

If it's just Oculus apps, then great! I don't use any of them. They all suck ass anyway.

If it's showing you random ads while you're playing a game or using a third party software, or even on the "home screen", that's a different story.

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3 hours ago, StDragon said:

😐 I'm surprised anyone would be surprised by this. It's Facebook, that's all you need to know

This was inevitable.

 

Personally, I still think VR is in rubbish state nobody should have invested in, but there are some promising aspects in non-VR situations like private film/media viewing and the VR trackers for alternative input mechanisms.

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Heh. Knew that was coming the second Facebook bought oculus.  That was the same second the oculus entered my “do not spend one thin dime on it” list.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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37 minutes ago, TetraSky said:

Depends how and where the ads are.

If it's just Oculus apps, then great! I don't use any of them. They all suck ass anyway.

If it's showing you random ads while you're playing a game or using a third party software, or even on the "home screen", that's a different story.

From the sources it looks like game developers are programming surfaces to have targetted ads. So where a game billboard or any surface in game could have ads.

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3 hours ago, Vishera said:

You can't put ads on stuff people pay for...

The way software works today, it's impossible to own licensed software. You have a license that Facebook gives you. You either agree or disagree to the license. That's the transaction being done, but you never own the software. You don't own the source code, and you can't make changes to any functions or features. So while you may own the hardware (assuming it's not leased), you don't own the software. This allows companies like Facebook to pretty much do whatever they want, and guise it as an "update to TOS", or at least that's how I interpret software and software licensing to work.

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44 minutes ago, Kisai said:

Personally, I still think VR is in rubbish state nobody should have invested in, but there are some promising aspects in non-VR situations like private film/media viewing and the VR trackers for alternative input mechanisms.

Virtual Reality was a big thing in the early 90s; from expensive arcades to movies based on the tech (The Lawnmower Man). The idea was way ahead of its time being the technology wasn't close to being mass-produced. Sega gave it a stab with VR, but it too went nowhere.

 

So the concept faded until the original Oculus. It took all the right forms of tech to make it a doable re-entrance to the consumer space again. It still was, and is an ambitious goal to create and sell this technology to a larger audience. It hasn't been easy, but I think it's here to stay. Screen tech and tracking has made improvements, and from what I understand the "screen door" effect isn't nearly pronounced as it used to be. Tracking is improving to reduce the drunken vertigo feeling. And refresh rates should improve to also extend playtime without headaches.

 

So, would I purchase VR? Maybe. If the tech improves while the price drops, I could see myself getting into it with Microsoft Flight Simulator or something similar. Though I prefer there still be a slit at the bottom so I can still glance at my hands and desk. I say that because I have no intention of getting out of my seat as I use a HOTAS joystick with keyboard.

 

So a niche market at best, but I still think VR can offer one helluva ride for being niche! 🙂

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8 minutes ago, StDragon said:

 

 

So, would I purchase VR? Maybe. If the tech improves while the price drops, I could see myself getting into it with Microsoft Flight Simulator or something similar. Though I prefer there still be a slit at the bottom so I can still glance at my hands and desk. I say that because I have no intention of getting out of my seat as I use a HOTAS joystick with keyboard.

🙂

 

As someone who gets motion sickness, even from watching people's VR streams, I can easily say that VR tech is not for me, and while I might consider something if it gets to the point that it doesn't cause motion sickness at all, but current HMD's are just trying to be too cheap rather than the necessary over-engineering for it. So I haven't been impressed with what's come out yet, at least not the HMD's. The trackers though I'm getting a lot of suggestions that the trackers/controllers aren't super great either. Basically it's a battery-charging hell.

 

 

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10 hours ago, tikker said:

No. Just no. This is similar to the BS EA tried to pull with NBA 2k21. I'm slowly losing whatever sliver of hope I had left for a not-dystopian future where literally everything is riddled with ads.

In a couple of decades we will be the old folks sitting by the fire and telling our grandchildren that there used to be a time where not everything was funded by Ads 😂

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This thread reminds me of an old not very popular movie called “idiocracy” where everything was ad coated including clothing.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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