Technology from the media / East Yiluo
VR devices can’t avoid advertising intrusion? Facebook recently announced that it will test ad insertion in its Oculus VR headset.
In May of this year, Facebook announced that it would run ads in Oculus mobile apps, but ads are only for mobile apps, and now Facebook wants to do the same in VR devices. It is reported that Oculus ads will appear in the shooting game “Blaston” developed by Resolution Games and two other Oculus apps. This means that in the future, Oculus users will inevitably see advertisements when watching VR content and playing VR games.
Advertising is extremely important to Facebook. More than 97% of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising. At the same time, the VR business is also the focus of Facebook’s future. More than 5% of the company’s employees are involved in this to some extent.
Therefore, the placement of advertisements in VR devices is a “strong combination” for Facebook and will play an important role.
In fact, Facebook is not the first to embed ads in VR. The Google Area120 team did a project called “AdVR” a few years ago, the content is to advertise in VR. They developed a plug-in that can display advertisements in a VR environment. VR users can choose to touch, click or look at 3D objects, which will trigger the video player to pop up. The team’s goal is to enable this feature on various VR platforms such as Google Daydream and Samsung Gear VR.
You can see that Google and Facebook are working very hard to insert ads in VR. Facebook believes that advertising can provide new revenue channels for software developers, hoping to create a “self-sufficient platform” for VR development, and will decide whether to expand the scope of advertising based on user feedback in the future.
From an industry point of view, the model of inserting advertisements in VR content is indeed very promising, but from the user’s point of view, it may have more negative effects on their VR experience.
Although Facebook said it will provide users with control in Oculus, such as blocking specific ads or advertisers, users can also click on the “Why I see these ads” option to learn more about Facebook’s ad push mechanism.
However, users may not want to see any information about advertisements appearing in VR at all.
Advertisements are offensive. On the PC and mobile terminals, everyone has been so annoyed by advertisements that they have installed various security software to block them. This is still under the condition that the content in these hardware is quite mature and rich, and VR has a lot of room for improvement in experience and content: Today’s VR equipment cannot be worn for too long, otherwise it will Dizzy; although VR content today is richer than before, it has not yet reached a high standard.
The above shortcomings make it difficult for VR devices to popularize in the consumer market. In this case, inserting advertisements in it may make users more repulsive of VR devices and cause greater obstacles to VR development.
Of course, it can be understood that relevant manufacturers are exploring new profit channels and making constant attempts, but they should pay attention to the timing and methods. From the perspective of timing, the current VR industry ecosystem is not mature enough, and it is too early to realize it through advertising. From the approach point of view, although Facebook and other manufacturers are also trying their best to avoid advertising degrading the user experience, they may only treat the symptoms rather than the root cause.
In summary, Facebook has acted too hastily, and it is indeed not the best time to embed advertisements in VR devices. To achieve this as soon as possible, the most fundamental solution is to improve the technology of VR equipment and the quality of VR content. When these become a reality, it may be better to consider inserting advertisements
Technology from the media / East Yiluo