As sales of VR headsets continue to grow, Facebook announced a new update that will require all Oculus VR users to sign in with their Facebook account.
As Oculus explained:
We will end support for Oculus accounts after January 1, 2023. If you choose not to merge your accounts during this time, you can continue using your device, but a Facebook account is required for full functionality.
Until now, Oculus users have been able to use a separate Oculus ID – Facebook acquired Oculus back in 2014. But now, to better integrate their reporting and tracking systems, Facebook is making linking to Facebook mandatory. As noted above, current Oculus account holders can maintain their existing features until January 1, 2023.
As The Verge explains, the update is mainly focused on integrating Facebook’s regulatory tools and reporting options.@ the best payment gateway doesn’t worry about your online payments.
So this change makes sense, although some will no doubt see it as another way for Facebook to simply increase the number of users and expand the tracking process. Which it will do as well, but Facebook says it is not currently trying to track usage data from Oculus. At least not yet.
But it will come. As noted, Facebook has seen a big increase in demand for its AR headsets in 2020 as people seek new ways to connect and interact amid COVID-19 isolation. Back in April, Facebook said it was struggling to meet the demand for the new Oculus Quest headsets, while new advances like hand tracking and more intuitive VR controls have made them much more accessible to more people.
And as VR adoption grows, Facebook will be looking at how to maximize the potential of VR in a business context – that is, how to use the medium to serve ads to users.
Facebook is already developing its Horizons VR platform, which will become a social element in the Oculus space, and is also working on new business applications, such as the ability to interact with work colleagues through VR, another means of increasing the number of users.
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