Last week I posed the question "is Meta shifting its content policy"? Well, I think looking at Twitter (X) for the last two days we may just have had a glimpse to the answer.
Oculus Quest recently ran an ad promoting its upcoming Quest 3 headset that featured a young boy immersed in VR. This seeming pivot towards a younger demographic hints at a realisation that if you are going to limit content to games, you will mostly attract children, which seems to be a demographic stronghold on the platform.
When the original Oculus Quest launched in 2019, teens and young tech savvy adult males were the dominant users playing immersive action games like Beat Saber.
Newer multiplayer titles like Gorilla Tag that enable physical gameplay propelled Quest's popularity among youths.
But Facebook's 2021 rebranding to Meta signaled grander aspirations for its VR business. And the Quest 2's sales explosion brought more adults and media consumption into the fold. Still, gaming reigned supreme.
The new Quest 3 ad indicates Oculus now recognises younger teens, especially boys as an important growth segment. Parents may find the wireless setup and contained ecosystem appealing for kids. Education and creativity tools could expand Quest's youth appeal beyond just games.
On the other end of the spectrum, Meta is still pursuing Quest's enterprise potential. But the required Facebook login and walled-garden approach have hampered corporate adoption so far. And the mandatory $999 price for the business-focused Quest Pro is prohibitive for many companies.
Let's do the simple math, 100 headsets is $100k, as a young business, trying to sell a service on the Quest Pro thats a lot of cap-ex, and with interest rates as they are coupled with a 2 year headset shelf life, this is just unappealing and unaffordable right now.
So, it looks like we have a clear defined path now for Meta and its content strategy (for now).
Give the power users (young boys) more of the content they hang out in, madcap multiplayer environments where they can let off some virtual steam. Excellent fitness content for the other (lesser) power user group, 40+ year old women that workout in VR to Supernatural and FitXR etc, and on the other hand, literally sell Pro type headsets to large enterprises with deep pockets.
So, the new ad highlights Oculus Quest's defined horizons (pun intended), and I guess all eyes will be closely focusing on the number that Quest 3 sales can achieve, though, that is by no means an indicator into the state of current VR, which is going through a few shifts as new player (Apple) come to market.