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Facebook and Virtual Reality?

Published April 10, 2014 at 9:48 am

Facebook recently announced its purchase of virtual reality company Oculus, creator of the Oculus VR headset, developed for virtual reality gaming. Facebook acquired the company for $2 billion, a hefty price tag for technology that is currently mostly used by gamers.

This purchase may seem surprising and cause some people to wonder what does Facebook want with virtual reality headset technology. The likely answer is that they must have seen a big marketing opportunity somewhere.

Marketers are constantly looking for new ways to increase brand engagement, and what could be more immersive than putting customers (almost) directly into an experience by using virtual reality?The more immersive and engaging an advertisement can be, the greater an impression it can leave on consumers. As brands search for new ways to increase engagement, many have been leaning towards merging of advertising and entertainment, so much so that it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference. It seems a natural progression to think of incorporating virtual reality into the mix.

Facebook sees virtual reality as a major opportunity, according to a recent article in Forbes. It could be a chance to extend the social platform, an opportunity for Facebook users to have entire social experiences online and a way for marketers to create increasingly immersive campaigns to boost engagement. While virtual reality has applications in other industries, it has yet to be widely adopted. However, as wearable technology like Google Glass and smart watches become more mainstream, perhaps virtual reality will be right behind it.

As technology continues to become more seamlessly integrated into our daily lives, it’s important for marketers to keep an eye on developing tech trends, and the opportunities they present for interactive campaigns.

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