VR Advertising


Clearly Facebook is making a push toward linking VR to advertising. As they are an advertising company like social media intends to be, they’re using their Oculus holding to force more people back onto Facebook, like the Mixer transition prior. I did look at Facebook recently, and it didn’t look any better than before, in fact they made the site look even more generic, and that’s not even getting to the content problem. And to think that I don’t even know what it looks like with ads (probably far, far worse) because I’m always using adblock on that site on the very rare chance I check anything there, as with YouTube since I’m pretty sure both platforms are actively pushing harmful products and mindsets as usual.

Advertising in VR seems like a sketchy approach to me. Since VR is aiming to be a new layer of reality, if you’re going to aggressively monetize it like anything else, suddenly pulling people into inescapable ad worlds is not a good way to go. Sure, there will be promotional worlds funded by companies to show off whatever, but the user would have to choose to go into those, possibly incentivised to get some kind of reward. From my surface studies of virtual world platforms, that seems to be the current approach. I don’t see why that should change for VR. There’s also the usual avenues in the physical world such as billboards, that just makes sense to anyone used to those methods.

However, there’s also the possibility of Oculus devices being used to access retinal data without having to utilize medical databases, and what’s going to be used with that data, I have no idea, but it’s probably not good. Sure, they can suggest something like a shared VR headset being able to automatically fine-tune itself to a user’s preferences, but there’s going to be a lot more going on in the background. Some would suggest that retinal data would be used to commit identity fraud in an attempt for Facebook leads to access their mothership which has been locked in a high-security hangar. That remains to be seen.

In a general sense, a VR headset is a screen. Screens shouldn’t have so much weird locking technology equipped to them. They should at least be open to being plugged into anything, like I know there’s ways to set up Oculus headsets and even the PSVR thing to regular computers to run whatever. Phones are already stretching that idea beyond its limits, but phones are just weird and probably a problem on most angles. Phones can even be made into a headset as has happened before, but that idea is on and off as far as support. It’s a decent idea but nobody seems to have any specific support for it, or it requires very specific phones.

As VR should take mobility into account, it shouldn’t take a mobile approach to content, so avoid all the weird popup ads that would end up trapping someone in a torture chamber of marketing. Especially seeing how mobile ads have zero standards and are constantly showing unrelated fake gameplay and stealing more copyrighted content than what YouTube thinks the average user video is doing. Sure, these things may be hilarious in the sense of “these people have absolutely no idea what the game even is” when they’re in a little square, but someone might think twice if they’re actually trapped in one.