The wall between Oculus VR and Facebook is collapsing. Starting in October, owners of the new Oculus Virtual Reality headsets will need to log in with their Facebook credentials instead of their Oculus VR account.
Existing Oculus VR owners must use their Oculus VR user account until January 1, 2023, at which point they will need to switch to Facebook. “If you choose not to consolidate your accounts at that time, you can still use your device, but you need a Facebook account for full functionality,” the company said in a blog post.
As an example, the company said that refusing to move to Facebook could lead to loss of access to certain games and apps. “This may be because it includes features that require a Facebook account, or because the developer chose not to support the apps or games they purchased,” the company explained.
Technical giants will also confirm that all future Oculus products will require a Facebook account to force the migration. As to why the company is forcing changes, Facebook claims it will ultimately benefit consumers.
“By providing a single way to log in to Oculus using a Facebook account and password, it’s easier to find, connect and play with friends in VR,” the company said. “I know there are many other features in social VR. This change will allow us to integrate many of the features people know and love on Facebook.”
In addition, the company claims that most Oculus VR headset owners are already logged in via Facebook to take advantage of the virtual reality features of social networks. However, Facebook has also acknowledged that this change will allow it to better target Oculus users with ads and recommendations in their Facebook accounts.
“As we shared earlier, when you log into Oculus using your Facebook account, Facebook will use information related to VR and other Facebook product usage to provide and improve your experience. It is also used to display personalized content, including advertising,” the company wrote in a blog post.
Given Facebook’s infamous reputation for privacy and data collection, it’s probably no surprise to everyone. On social media, customers have already vowed to give up their rival Oculus VR headset.
The requirement to log in with a Facebook account also violates the promise Oculus founder Palmer Luckey made to its users when they agreed to sell their business to Facebook in 2014. “I want to use Oculus Rift, which guarantees you don’t have to log in to your Facebook account every time,” he wrote in a Reddit post six years ago.
After today’s announcement, Lucky wrote aloud: “I would like to clarify that those promises were endorsed by Facebook at that moment and continuously, and I really love it. I really believed that it remained true for a reason. Later thinking, the negative votes (on Reddit) from people with more real-world experience than me were definitely justified.”
Lucky left Facebook in 2017 as Facebook continued to bring virtual reality to the mainstream masses. However, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is also prioritizing making Oculus VR a social product, not just a conduit for playing games.
To address consumer concerns, Facebook has created a migration FAQ. Social networks allow you to keep your Oculus VR activities private from your Facebook account.
“You can create or maintain your own VR profile even if you log in with your Facebook account. And if you don’t want your Oculus friends to find you by your Facebook name, they won’t do it — you Make it look like’Only Me’ in your Oculus settings,” the company says. “You can also select information about VR activities to post on your Facebook profile or timeline by giving them permission to post or updating their settings.”
Owners with an Oculus VR account can integrate with their Facebook account starting in October.
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