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Facebook-Owned Oculus Reduces the Price of its Best-Selling, Standalone VR Headset



Last month, in my 2020 predictions post, I noted that:

“While virtual reality may not reach that key plateau of consumer awareness in the next year, you can expect it to become a more significant consideration – and eventually, a more important marketing tool as more consumers start to buy into the next phase.”

Facebook has been investing big into virtual reality through its dedicated VR arm Oculus for some years now, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly stated that he believes this is the next evoution for social connection.

But in order to facilitate this, Facebook needs to make VR viable – it needs to be not only an accessible, but also an affordable option, while it also needs dedicated content being developed for this new environment in order to inspire take-up.

The key to all of this is consumer interest, and this week, Facebook has taken another significant step in that direction by reducing the price of its Oculus Go standalone VR headset, with Oculus confirming that it will take another $50 off the price permanently, putting it at $US149 for the basic version.

Oculus Go

The entry-level Oculus Go headset has been the company’s best selling device thus far, though the more advanced Oculus Quest, which now includes, among other elements, controller-free hand-tacking, is expected to soon become Oculus’ most popular option. 

The Go device is more of an introductory tool, while the Quest is for gaming and advanced usage. Still, at less than $US150, you can imagine that many people will give it more consideration. Oculus Go devices have actually been on sale at this cheaper price point since earlier in the year, and the fact that they’re now making that the base price would suggest that it’s already helped boost consumer interest.

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And as noted, if Facebook can boost the take-up of its VR tools, that’ll go a long way to fueling a new VR eco-system. With VR now becoming increasingly accessible, it wouldn’t be surprising if, by the end of 2020, VR is viewed as a more viable marketing option for many brands – and that’s before we see what other advances and announcements 2020 brings.

This is key area of development to watch, both for tech enthusiasts and for digital marketers more specifically. The implications of advanced connection through VR could have huge impacts on eCommerce, advertising, branding, etc. 


We’re not at that next stage of adoption as yet, but we’re starting to see glimpses of how the VR future might come about. Keep an eye on this space, and maybe also consider how you can start to research VR tech, and get ahead of the next big shift.



Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots



Elon Musk's Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.

According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.

Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.

And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.

Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.

In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:

  • Total user tweets (within a given time period)
  • Data on which devices were used

As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.

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It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:

  • Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
  • Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
  • Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
  • Date, time, location, device info

That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.

I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.

But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.

But still, given Musk and Co’s past history of undermining and attacking critics, sacking trouble maker employees and digging up potential dirt on rivals, it sits a little uneasy.

Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).

According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.

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Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.

The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.

Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.


Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.

It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.

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