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Why Facebook Wants Ads In VR Headsets?

By Luke Fitzpatrick. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Many years ago, what did you think of when you pictured 2021? Imagine flying cars, sentient robots, and virtual reality (VR) games? Well, you’d be glad to know that we’re nearly there. 

The farther technology advances, the more businesses prosper. So, what’s the catch? Unless you’re one of the moguls controlling where science takes us, you are simply a consumer, which explains why you now have to watch advertisements in VR. 

Yes, you read that right. Facebook has just announced that it will soon be launching ads in its VR headsets. Instead of simply viewing print ads or watching promotional videos, you’ll be able to see ads that match your interests through your VR gear. Before you know it, you’ll be learning about the latest products, sales, and Spectrum TV App deals through VR.  

Facebook’s announcement 

Facebook recently introduced ads in its Oculus VR headsets. The social media platform said it is experimenting with ads to see whether they can work in VR. Its statement added that it’ll introduce new types of ads that are “unique to VR.” 

Oculus VR was once a pioneer in VR gaming. This news has left many scratching their heads, while other users found it predictable. With ads now a massive part of the Facebook app itself, this seems like the natural course of events. 

They demonstrated VR gaming in its truest sense yet, a virtual environment where users could interact with elements much smoother than any comparable tech. For many, Oculus VR was holding open the door to a brand-new world of videogames.  

The social media giant had bought the Oculus VR headset technology in 2017. Back then, the headset creator, Palmer Luckey, said: “We are not going to track you, flash ads at you, or do anything invasive. “The situation now, of course, is different. But why did Facebook decide to take this step anyway? 

A new revenue model 

A new statement on Oculus’s website says it’s exploring new avenues for game developers to generate revenue. It said that ads could help create a “self-sustaining” business model for Oculus. 

The Oculus VR headset will soon be a popular medium for various new games by generating income from ads. And game developers would only want to work with Oculus if they can earn some revenue. 

The Oculus Quest 2 headset is available to buy for $299. Many analysts think this is a meager price for a VR headset. So, people assume that Facebook is selling these headsets at shallow margins. 

If you plan on being a dedicated VR gamer, it makes sense to support the community as a whole. Hence, it needs to generate revenue in other ways, like ads. Many other platforms like Steam or Origin have their advertising models. Oculus has a slightly different one.

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