Facebook will test ads in its Oculus virtual reality (VR) headset. The social media giant said on June 16 that it will launch an in-earphone advertising experiment for the video game Blaston developed by Resolution Games. In the next few weeks, ads will also appear on several other apps. The company said that the main goal is to get more people into VR, improve the consumer experience, and make progress in our long-term augmented reality (AR) plan. In addition, it stated that this is also a step towards creating a healthy and “self-sustaining platform” for VR development. Users were not satisfied with the move and shared their concerns on Twitter.
Facebook Reality Labs vice president Andrew Bosworth (Andrew Bosworth) said on Twitter that Facebook hopes to help developers generate revenue and help people find a better experience at a better price. “This is part of how we create a healthy, self-sustaining platform for everyone,” Bosworth wrote.
In the next few weeks, we will start a small test of in-earphone ads with several developers. We want to help developers generate revenue and help people find better experiences at better prices-this is part of our creation of a healthy, self-sufficient platform for everyone.
-Boz (@boztank) June 16, 2021
If you are worried about what advertisements you will see, you can take a break.
In a subsequent tweet, Bosworth stated that users can manage the ads they want to see, and “we are including controls for advertisers to completely hide specific ads or hide ads.”
“Ads in VR will be different from ads in other places. This is a space that takes time and people’s feedback to do well,” he said.
You can manage the ads you want to see, and we provide some controls to hide specific ads or hide ads from advertisers completely. Ads in VR will be different from ads in other places. This is a space that takes time and people’s feedback to use it properly https://t.co/dHOlqHoOVF
-Boz (@boztank) June 16, 2021
However, not many people are satisfied with Facebook’s decision to include ads in their VR experience, and some are angry at the response to the announcement.
“The way you can’right’ is not to advertise in VR. The work that Facebook has done in the past 20 years is abominable, and we can’t pretend that you make such a decision that is good for society,” Twitter user @boztank.
The “right” way is not to place ads in VR
The work that Facebook has done in the past 20 years is an abomination, and we can’t pretend that you’re making such a decision is good for society
— Jongold.eth ???????? ??????????????????? ? ? (@jongold) June 16, 2021
“I plan to buy Oculus to test my game on the platform, but suddenly I no longer have that impulse. Thank you for reminding us of your priorities,” another user @N3X15 tweeted.
I plan to buy an Oculus to test my game on that platform, but suddenly I no longer have that urge. Thank you for reminding us of your priorities.
— Rob Nelson (@N3X15) June 16, 2021
Another user @disinformatico said that advertising is the last thing he wants to see in VR. “The only way to do this is to not do it,” the user wrote.
Advertising is the last thing I want to see in VR.
The only way to do this is to not do it.
— Paolo Attivissimo (@disinformatico) June 16, 2021
Here are more reactions to Facebook’s announcement:
To be fair, it’s easier to manage advertising by not buying your product at all.
Thank you for your reminder!
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-paercebal ???? (trying to treble distance) (@paercebal) June 17, 2021
I want you to really know how much I hate this. Fundamentally speaking, without healthy or consumer-friendly ads, they would be more vicious in VR
— Alex (@Alixbox1723) June 17, 2021
Is “No ads from anyone at any time” an option, or do I continue to never buy Oculus?
-Kaiyalai (@Kaiyalai) June 17, 2021
You don’t need time for feedback. In reality, anyone wants to see ads in their VR headsets. There is no way to get it right. No one wants it.
-Rigtoofen (@Rigtoofen) June 17, 2021
Allowing users to “manage the ads they want to see” is just another type of data scraping. You ask users to further narrow their preferences within their own time so that you can charge more for “featured data.”
— Nicholas Hiller (@bit_by_bit) June 17, 2021
In a blog post, the company resolved a number of issues, including privacy issues raised by users on Twitter. Facebook stated that increasing privacy will not change its privacy or advertising policies. The company said that during the test, Facebook will receive information about how you interact with the ad—whether you click on it or hide it.
“We will not use the information processed and stored locally on your headset to target ads. Processing and storing information on the device means that it will not leave your headset or reach Facebook servers, so it cannot be used for advertising,” it Say.
Facebook also stated that it will not use people’s conversations on Messenger, Party, and chat apps or your voice interactions to target ads. This even includes any sounds or audio clips that your microphone might select when you use our voice command feature, such as “Hey Facebook, tell me who is online”.