Meta says VR headset users won’t need Facebook IDs to access devices

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook Inc., speaks at the Facebook Connect virtual event, where the company announced its rebrand to Meta, in New York, USA on Thursday, October 1st. 28, 2021.

Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Meta introduces a new way to log into VR headsets without using Facebook credentials, in the company’s latest attempt to separate its futuristic metaverse ambitions from its core social media business.

Mark Zuckerbergthe CEO of the company, now known as Meta, said on Facebook. mail on Thursday that the meta accounts will debut in August. Users will be able to access their Meta Quest VR headsets with their new accounts and view their purchase history of their VR apps.

While Meta still gets virtually all of its revenue from its Facebook family of apps, Zuckerberg trying to convince investors and a certain group of clients that the business is moving in a different direction as the metaverse evolves.

Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse includes a set of virtual worlds that can be accessed through virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. While VR and AR headsets are still niche devices in a smartphone-dominated world, the Facebook founder has indicated that they represent the future of computing, and he recently said he suggests that 1 billion users will spend hundreds of dollars on the metaverse by the second half of the decade.

Today, however, the story looks completely different. Reality Labs, the division of Meta responsible for developing the metaverse and the technologies behind it, posted a $10 announcement. billion loss in 2021.

Meta is also trying to make amends with its current Quest VR user base after the company previously required them to use their Facebook accounts to access the headsets. The backlash led Meta to announce in October that it would reverse course.

“When we announced that we would begin requiring people to sign into Meta Quest with a Facebook account, we received a lot of feedback from the Quest community,” the company said in a separate blog post on Thursday. “We’ve taken that feedback into account when designing a new meta account structure that gives people flexibility and control.”

Along with removing the need to use Facebook credentials, Meta is making marketing changes to further showcase the brand. Instead of users having Oculus profiles, they will now have Meta Horizon profiles. Facebook inherited the name when it acquired Oculus in 2014 as an entry into the virtual reality market. According to the company, people will now be able to use their Meta Horizon profiles to customize their VR usernames, virtual avatars and other information.

A Meta spokesperson told CNBC that users will need both a Meta account and a Meta Horizon profile to access the company’s VR headsets.

The blog post also notes that Quest VR users will have “followers” instead of “friends”, making the Quest nomenclature more Instagram-like.

“If you already have a Meta VR headset, your Oculus friends will automatically become your followers and you will follow them by default,” the post reads. “You can unfollow or remove followers at any time.”

Meta is also releasing new tools to allow users to manage their VR privacy settings, allowing them to choose whether they want their Meta Horizon profiles to be public, friends and family only, or remain private.

If users don’t select the privacy setting, they’ll be set to friends and family by default, the spokesperson said. Current Quest VR users will need to select a privacy setting to continue using their headsets.

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