Oculus Headsets will Soon Require Users to Log In with Facebook Account
Image courtesy of: Oculus
In a significant policy change that will affect current and future users of the Oculus VR platform, the Facebook-owned company has announced that it will begin to require that all users log in with a Facebook account when using an Oculus device.
According to an official Oculus blog post, first-time users on an Oculus VR headset will need to log in using a Facebook account beginning in October of 2020. Existing users, however, will have additional time to make the permanent transition, as they will have the option to hold off from merging their Oculus and Facebook accounts until January 1, 2023. At that point, a Facebook account will be mandatory to maintain the “full functionality” of the platform, as Oculus accounts will no longer be supported.
While the news has sparked some pushback from the Oculus community, the company explains that these new changes intend to provide a more simplified and seamless social VR experience when using an Oculus device.
“Giving people a single way to log into Oculus—using their Facebook account and password— will make it easier to find, connect, and play with friends in VR,” the statement reads. “We know that social VR has so much more to offer, and this change will make it possible to integrate many of the features people know and love on Facebook.”
Perhaps most importantly, the company claims that these changes will also bring several new improvements to users’ safety and security on the Oculus platform. “Using a VR profile that is backed by a Facebook account and authentic identity helps us protect our community and makes it possible to offer additional integrity tools,” stated the company.
Specifically, Oculus says it will shift from using its existing Oculus Code of Conduct, and instead adopt Facebook’s Community Standards as well as a new “additional VR-focused policy,” to govern behavior across the entire platform.
“This will allow us to continue to take the unique considerations of VR into account while offering a more consistent way to report bad behavior, hold people accountable, and help create a more welcoming environment across our platforms. And as Facebook adds new privacy and safety tools, Oculus can adopt and benefit from them too.”
It’s worth noting as part of the upcoming policy changes, that even when logged into their Oculus headset with a Facebook account, users will still be able to create or maintain a unique VR profile identity and hide their Facebook account information from others. The company also plans to introduce the ability for multiple users to log into the same headset using their own Facebook accounts to keep their personal information separate. Facebook, however, acknowledges that while users can keep their information and activity hidden from their friends, Facebook does collect data related to their use of VR, which the company says is to provide and improve the overall user experience.
“Facebook will use information related to your use of VR and other Facebook products to provide and improve your experience. This information is also used to show you personalized content, including ads. For example, we might show you recommendations for Oculus Events you might like, ads about Facebook apps and technologies, or ads from developers for their VR apps,” the company says.
These changes come ahead of the launch of Facebook’s long-awaited social VR app, Facebook Horizon, and the highly-anticipated new Oculus Quest headset rumored to make an appearance at Oculus Connect 7 in September.