Facebook has started showing ads in its Oculus virtual reality headsets, despite the platform’s founder, Palmer Luckey, claimed in 2017 that he never would, yet here we are.
As always the advertising business has always made us understand that ethics, let’s say, is not his forte. Historical revisionism takes many different forms, especially in the short term, and everything becomes “interpretable” after a certain period of time. So Luckey in front of small concerns about the possible use of advertising on the platform, expressed himself in the not far 2017:
“We will not follow you, show you advertisements or do anything invasive“. M.to then on Oculus blog, the company stated shortly after: “We are exploring new ways to enable developers to generate revenue: this is a key part of ensuring the creation of a self-sufficient platform that can support a variety of business models that unlock new types of content and audiences“.
Now even Facebook is covering it up, interpreting this staging as a “EXPERIMENT“, And that the announcements they will start appearing in a game called Balston, but soon after that other developers started making similar announcements.
Will Facebook put limits on Oculus ads?
The point is, we’re grown up enough to understand the situation it will quickly get out of hand, with the usual cost excuse, which could easily be solved by increasing the cost of services, as long as there is no bombardment of advertising. The problem is that everyone is looking for the low-cost bargain, and manufacturers and developers are tempted to bombard the market with under-cost products.
The below-cost product then makes it possible to revoke the concession of advertising to make up for not only the production costs, but also for additional, and sometimes much higher, revenues from third parties. The consumer tends to accept this compromise just to spend less on services and hardware.
At this point it is evident that the excuse of the privacy regulation no longer holds, since it is no longer necessary to know the user’s name, since the entire experience, even if anonymous, will be calculated and perfected on your personal use.
Leo Gebbie, analyst at CCS Insight, said the move is not surprising: “Ultimately Facebook relies on ad revenue and if there was any expectation that it wouldn’t turn it into virtual reality then that would be a bit naive.“. Oculus Quest 2 headsets start at € 349 and are also offered for $ 299 in the US, and that price means they are being sold at “incredibly low or even loss-making margins.”
This could mean that Facebook becomes the dominant player in this match, as others are not and will never be able to compete. “The long-term goal is for Oculus to become a platform for virtual reality and augmented reality, with Facebook keen to allow as many people as possible to use it. Facebook doesn’t have the best privacy scores and there is concern that it will continue to push boundaries and to creep into something invasive“, Says Gebbie.
Piers Harding-Rolls, Ampere Analysis director of game research, said virtual reality has offered great opportunities for tech companies. “If people spend more time using this technology, those who dominate the online advertising opportunity, including Facebook and Google, want to be in a good position to take advantage of any changes in consumer habits, so they can follow audiences with the their advertising. networks “.
But they had to be careful to balance advertising with good user experience, he warned. “While there is nothing exceptional about advertising in games, the intimate and immersive nature of virtual reality it means that the consumer experience is likely to look very different and this could represent a barrier to adoption ”.
This could certainly have a basis, perhaps for adult users and perhaps a little more responsible, but could this analysis always prove to be correct for adolescents? I have always argued that information about entertainment technologies has never been so foggy. Since it is easy to cry out for innovation without calculating the long-term consequences.
A more than striking example was and is gambling with microtransactions in free-to-play games, for which no authority in our country has yet vetoed it, and the justification of the developers has always been the same that they use now for the viewers: “There are expenses and someone will have to pay for them“; who knows why, however, these expenses are never covered, even after having recovered the losses.