Since Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR six years ago, users of the virtual reality headsets have been able to avoid entanglement with the social network.
Currently, new users of headsets like the Rift and Quest can log into their new device using a separate Oculus account, rather than jumping into bed with Mark Zuckerberg’s data collection agency.
However, that’s coming to an end. From October, users of new Oculus devices will be required to log-in with a Facebook account. The company will also prompt users to merge their two accounts if they already have Facebook and Oculus accounts.
Those without a Facebook account will be able to continue with their existing Oculus device for the time being. However, on the first day of 2023, those headsets will not be fully supported without a Facebook account. If users don’t make the switch, Facebook admits apps and games may no longer work.
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In a blog post, Oculus said the changes are being made to make it easier for users to connect with friends in virtual reality. It also believes it will assist with safety and privacy.
The company wrote: “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. 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. It will also allow us to introduce more Facebook powered multiplayer and social experiences coming soon in VR, like Horizon, where you can explore, play, and create worlds. The majority of our users are already logging into Oculus with a Facebook account to use features like chats, parties, and events, or to tune into live experiences in Oculus Venues. We’re also making it easier to share across our platforms if you’d like. For example, people already have the option to livestream or share their VR experience on Facebook, and soon you’ll be able to use your VR avatar on other Facebook apps and technologies.”
A new version of the Oculus Quest is expected later this year.