Facebook said Wednesday it will begin testing advertisements inside its virtual reality Oculus headsets in partnership with several game developers, including Resolution Games.
The small-scale test of VR advertisements are a bridge between the social media company's main revenue line of selling digital advertising and its growing investment to build virtual reality hardware as the next tech frontier after the smartphone.
Facebook said it will use the test to explore ways to help developers earn revenue on the Oculus platform.
“Our primary focus at Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) is to bring more people into VR, advance the consumer experience, and make progress on our longer-term augmented reality initiatives. We're also exploring new ways for developers to generate revenue—this is a key part of ensuring we're creating a self-sustaining platform that can support a variety of business models that unlock new types of content and audiences. It also helps us continue to make innovative AR/VR hardware more accessible to more people,” the company said.
Advertisements will begin to appear in Blaston, an action game developed by Resolution, and in other Oculus games over the coming weeks.
Facebook added that Oculus users will be able to hide individual advertisements or choose not to see advertisements from a certain advertiser.
The addition of advertisements will not change the company's privacy or advertising policies. It said, “While testing advertisements in Oculus apps, Facebook will get new information like whether you interacted with an advertisement and if so, how — for example, if you clicked on the advertisement for more information or if you hid the advertisement. Outside of that, this test doesn't change how your Oculus data is processed or how it informs advertisements.”