On Thursday, Zuckerberg declared that starting next month, users of the Oculus Quest (now Meta) VR headset would no longer require a Facebook account to log in for entering the metaverse. Rather, he said, the company will roll out different accounts under the Meta banner that will be disconnected from the social media site. He mentions that this feature will give everyone more choice about how they show up in the metaverse.
In addition, users who don’t hope to set up a Meta account will be able to log in using their Facebook account till Jan. 1, 2023, after which a Meta account will be mandated.
The news follows a backlash last October after the company began demanding VR users log into the devices using their Facebook accounts.
Also Read, Apple hints at Metaverse Headset Development
Meta into Metaverse
Zuckerberg has been working to isolate the Facebook and Meta communities since last year. The renaming of the company to Meta seemed to many to be an effort to distance virtual reality spaces like Horizon Worlds from the scandals that tormented (and continue to haunt) Facebook, including allegations the company did little to fight misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines, gave radicals a platform, and was aware of the harm social media caused young users.
Within the company, the negative influence of Facebook on other Meta brands is reportedly comprehended as a “brand tax,” which some claim was accountable for brands like Instagram and WhatsApp losing shine with young users, who have shifted to either Snapchat or TikTok.
With the metaverse schemes, Mark Zuckerberg is attempting to convince investors (and customers) that the business is fresh, building a virtual world that can be attained via virtual and augmented reality headsets.
Also, by splitting the former Oculus headset from a Facebook log-in, Meta accumulates another opportunity to drive people to its Horizon virtual world. After users make a Meta account, they will be prompted to create a Meta Horizon profile, which will function as their social profile in the metaverse.
And while the company conveys that a Meta account is not a social media profile, there surely appear to be some similar paths between the two.
In a blog post, the company mentions that your Oculus friends will become your followers, similar to how it works on Instagram. This update provides better ways to be social and connect with others. You can pick whether to share your active status and activity updates, like the apps you possess and your achievements, with your followers. If you already hold a Meta VR headset, your Oculus friends will automatically become your followers and you will follow them back by default. You can prefer to unfollow anyone or remove followers at any time.
Privacy settings will let users determine who follows them, but even with accounts that are closed down, details like profile picture, avatar, username, and the number of followers/people you follow will be observable to anyone.
Meta has already undergone a few bumps on its journey to the metaverse. Reality Labs, which is the Meta division in charge of molding Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse, lost $10 billion last year. In May, a report from corporate accountability group SumOfUs communicated that Meta’s VR platforms (Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues) were rampant with many of the same problems found in more traditional social media platforms, including misogynistic, homophobic, and racist remarks, along with the added horrors of virtual groping. The company reacted by introducing the “personal boundary” component, which is developed to keep others from infringing your avatar’s personal space, forming a roughly four-foot perimeter.
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