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'VR porn' searches spike 115% as metaverse buzz gains steam

New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) As the buzz around metaverse gains momentum, searches for virtual reality (VR) adult content have risen 115 per cent in the last five-six months, a new report showed on Tuesday.

The rise in “VR porn” searches is second only to the volume of searches seen during launch of the first-ever VR headset in 2016, according to data derived from SEO platform Ahrefs and Google Trends, reports Bankless Times.

These searches correlate almost directly with either new releases of VR technology or the Christmas sales rush seen via VR app installations year-on-year.

A recent report predicted the VR adult content market will increase from $716 million in 2021 to $19 billion in 2026, indicating that the most recent spike in searches may just be the beginning of an increasingly mainstream use for VR technology.

“With VR consoles already booming in popularity and the Oculus Quest 3 set to release in late 2023, it’s inevitable that searches for all-things virtual reality are only going upwards,” said Jonathan Merry, CEO of Bankless Times.

“With the digital adult content industry value set to hit over $200 billion by 2030, it will be interesting to see just how much of an impact VR and other innovative technologies will have on this figure in the years to come,” he added.

The first Oculus VR console was launched in October 2016. In December that year, Facebook (now Meta) Oculus launched the Oculus Touch, a pair of tracked controllers that give you the feeling that your ‘virtual’ hands are actually your own hands.

The same month, searches for “VR porn” reached an all-time high, according to data from Ahrefs.AGlobally, there were over 1.2 million searches for the term in December 2016.

In September 2020, the Oculus Quest 2 was unveiled by Facebook Labs, which sold an estimated 1.87 million units worldwide.

At the same time, searches for “VR porn” were also on the rise – going from over 267,000 in September 2020 and peaking at 579,000 monthly searches in January 2021, the report noted.

The installed base of VR headsets is expected to surpass 34 million by 2024.

Meanwhile, the VR adult content industry is set to grow alongside the popularity of wider VR use. The global value of the VR adult content market is expected to increase to $19 billion by 2026, said the report.

–IANS

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