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Facebook’s Oculus is testing in-headset VR advertising

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Facebook’s Oculus is testing in-headset VR advertising, because not even our virtual realities can escape the claws of capitalism.

On Wednesday Oculus announced it will begin a to insert ads into VR games, starting with 2020 indie shooter . Ads will be added to more VR titles in the following weeks, with the aim to deploy them more widely across the Oculus Platform after gathering feedback from both developers and players.

“We want to help developers generate revenue and help people find great experiences at better prices — this is a part of how we’ll create a healthy, self-sustaining platform for everyone,”  

“Ads in VR will be different from ads elsewhere and this is a space that will take time and people’s feedback to get right.”

The company began last month, but in-headset advertising is an entirely different matter. It’s much harder to ignore a bright banner informing you about the latest, greatest breakfast cereal when it’s being delivered by a device that is literally strapped to your head.

Fortunately, Oculus users will have some level of control over what advertising they see. Players will be able to completely hide specific ads or ads from a certain advertiser, which will be useful if certain ones particularly annoy you. Just like Facebook, you’ll also be able to report ads and find out why Oculus is showing them to you.

While having ads beamed directly into your face may feel invasive, Facebook stressed that Oculus ads will follow Facebook’s , and won’t use information such as movement data and microphone audio to target ads. However, it will gather information on whether you interacted with an ad, and whether said interaction was of the “I want it” or “ew no” variety.

Ads are big business for Facebook, with coming from advertising in 2019. It was really only a matter of time before the company tried to implement them in VR. 

Even so, it doesn’t stop the whole thing from feeling just a tad dystopic.

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