Virtual reality fans have been anticipating something exciting from Facebook ever since it acquired Oculus some three years ago. Facebook, a company with the richest of personal data, could do something marvelous with VR, and it did. The integration of the social network with the Oculus VR system brought ‘Facebook Spaces’ to life.
You can get to use Facebook Spaces on the Oculus Rift+ Touch. The virtual real will not just be about playing games or watching things anymore; it has become social now. Four friends can log into facebook, join a hangout space, watch videos, chat, and make calls. How is a hangout ever complete without a selfie? It is not, so Spaces even allows you to take virtual selfies. You get to create your cartoonish avatars.
The advertisement by Oculus may look very high tech like something out of science fiction, but it is not like that in reality. It is not intimidating enough to scare you out of using it. However, the technology will not just end here. The company will continue to develop better and more advanced VR platforms. The product manager Mike Booth said in an interview, “We eventually want to be on all the VR platforms.” That does not include smartphone VR systems, but until that becomes real, you are gonna have to settle for Facebook 360.
The $2 billion purchase of Oculus in 2014 sounded absurd to a lot of people who could not imagine what Facebook can do with it even when Mark Zuckerberg said VR could be “the most social platform ever.” Rachel Rubin Franklin expressed that the app is more like a dinner party and not like some imaginative land as, “these are your Facebook friends. That changes what you do in Spaces significantly because you’ve already established a relationship.”
As of now, people hide behind the cartoon avatars, but oversharing on social media will bring such a time when the avatars are more like our real selves with VR. It can be a little frightening.
The Beta version of Facebook Spaces is out, and you can get it at Oculus store.