Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is slowly pushing internet users to have an account on its platform if they want to use any of the products from a company owned by Facebook. And, the plan has apparently been set in motion now. Quite recently, Oculus has asked all its VR headset users to sign in with their Facebook account and makes it a strict mandatory step.
Acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion, Oculus is well-known for its Virtual Reality (VR) gaming headsets which allow people to get connected to the all-new digital gaming environment.
Oculus asked all of its VR headset users to sign up or merge their Facebook accounts with their corresponding Oculus accounts. This will become a mandatory step from coming October as the company has planned to end all the support facilities for those oculus accounts standing alone without a Facebook coalition. Also, all the future devices of oculus and first-time users can access the functionality of hardware only with the Facebook account.
However, the existing users who choose not to merge Facebook account with Oculus are allowed to continue using Oculus account until January 1st, 2023. After that, the current users, who are given access to the contents of the already purchased games only, will have to enable their Facebook account in their hardware to gain the full potential of the gaming feature. Hence, it becomes a complete mandate for all Oculus devices users to be part of the Facebook community no matter what.
It leads us to questions, whether such a strict usage policy is really needed to allow users to have Oculus device?
Despite merging their Facebook accounts, oculus users can create a separate VR profile with a different friends list, which doesn’t bother all their existing friend’s list. Facebook has informed that all Oculus users have the full authority to choose what to post on Facebook about their VR activity.
The company has grand plans to unveil newer versions of its Oculus Quest headset shortly and it is believed that these policies would apply for it too.
So, Why does the mandate come in place?
- Social VR has a lot more features in its package to offer for the users, by connecting to a Facebook social profile, users can explore various thrills of the games by connecting and playing with their peer groups online.
- It will be easy for the company to integrate the social and VR gaming features to all-new levels like Facebook powered multiplayer and social experiences which are expected shortly in VR gaming.
- Oculus is expecting a VR environment backed by an authentic identity of people. By merging with Facebook, Oculus need not frame a separate code of conduct; it can easily blend with Facebook’s user community standards along with additional VR-focused policy. By doing this, oculus can be sure about the scrutiny of lousy behaviour and help promote a safe climate in a VR environment.
- The seamlessly and tightly integrated social and VR experience would help Facebook to provide users with targeted content that includes ads also.
The company posted in its official page that,
“Facebook-powered social experiences, like live streaming gameplay to your Facebook timeline, making calls with parties, joining events, and exploring new experiences like Facebook Horizon. And as Facebook adds new privacy and safety tools, they can be added in VR too.”
With such integrations, social media behemoth is slowly planning to gain dominance in the VR industry.
When Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014, people had little idea of what the social media giant was up to with it. However, by 2018, it became clear that Facebook was aiming to not only venture in VR Gaming space but also anticipated VR as the future of Facebook. To make the device as an affordable enabler it unveiled a standalone Oculus Go without any hosting device at a very cheaper rate. So people could afford VR at a lower cost without even having a personal computer.
By making Facebook mandatory for worldwide VR users, the future plans of the social media giant are quite clear – personalisation of offerings, be it content, ads or any other product/service on the platform.