Facebook to Start Testing Ads in Oculus VR Games, Tech News News & Top Stories

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MENLO PARK (BLOOMBERG) – Facebook plans to start running ads in virtual reality games on its Oculus Quest headset, a push toward turning the expensive hardware business into a money generator for the social network.

For now, the move is a test. Over the next few weeks, Facebook will run ads in Blaston, a futuristic shooter from Resolution Games, and programs from a few other developers, according to a company blog post on Wednesday (June 16).

Game companies will earn a portion of the revenue generated from advertising, a Facebook spokesperson said, but did not disclose their share.

Last month, Facebook announced that it would begin testing ads for Oculus content in the VR gaming unit’s mobile app.

The ad will help the social media giant get more returns on its large investment in hardware, as it keeps the prices of virtual reality headsets low to encourage faster adoption by consumers. In virtual reality, which requires a headset that blocks out the real world, it will be easier to ensure that someone sees an advertisement.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sees virtual and augmented reality powered devices as the next great human communication platform, after mobile phones, possibly replacing some in-person social interactions.

Facebook will soon face significant competition when Apple launches a competing VR device. The two companies are also developing their own augmented reality glasses.

For years, Oculus executives have refused to put the Facebook brand name prominently on their products, fearing a backlash from gamers. But starting last year, the parent company started requiring new Oculus headset users to have Facebook accounts.

The company said it uses information about activity on Oculus, such as the games and apps it uses, to boost its targeted advertising business across its various products and platforms.

Oculus, the hardware division of the social network, announced last year the release of Quest 2, an all-in-one virtual reality headset with a faster processor for enhanced gaming and higher-resolution screens than his predecessor.

The entry-level model with 64GB of storage costs US $ 299 (S $ 402), which makes it more affordable than the others.

Zuckerberg, who regularly touts the future of virtual and augmented reality, said in April that he was happy with the sales.

Facebook’s “other” revenue category, which includes products outside of advertising such as computer hardware sales, more than doubled to $ 732 million in the first quarter of 2021.

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