Meta signals future ad direction | WARC | The Feed
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Meta signals future ad direction
Critics of Facebook are unlikely to be reassured by the patents recently granted to parent company Meta, which include the use of technology to harvest biometric data that could help determine how a user’s avatar interacts with what it sees in the metaverse and even what ads are shown.
Why it matters
Meta has already indicated that the business model in the metaverse will be commerce-led and that ads will play a part in that. While Meta says that “our patents don’t necessarily cover the technology used in our products and services”, they’re currently the best guide to the details of its thinking about a future immersive virtual world. Much of it appears to apply existing approaches in a new context.
What might be in the pipeline
The Financial Times has examined Meta’s many applications to the US Patent and Trademark Office, dozens of which have been granted, and flags the following:
- Virtual stores where brands can sponsor digital versions of their real-world products.
- The use of eye and face tracking technology to understand a user’s response to the virtual experience and adapt it accordingly.
- The same information could also be used to understand how users are engaging with ads.
“My nightmare scenario is that targeted advertising based on our involuntary biological reactions to stimuli is going to start showing up in the metaverse . . . most people don’t realise how valuable that could be. Right now there are no legal constraints on that” – Brittan Heller, technology lawyer at Foley Hoag.
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