Behold Oculus users, significant changes are in your way! On 18th August 2020, Oculus announced a new way to log into your account. They are planning to phase out individual Oculus accounts. You’ll have to use a Facebook account to use Oculus in the future.
What are the Changes?
Facebook is making a move to bring all the users to its subsidiary company, Oculus. Starting from October 2020, new users need to have a Facebook account to use Oculus. Those with both Oculus and Facebook accounts can merge the account into one. As for the old users, they will have until December 2022 to make a move.
From 1st January 2023, Oculus will stop supporting users without a Facebook account. They have made it clear that the old purchase and account will be intact. But, new features may not be supported with a Facebook account. If the tech giant decides to stop support for older games, it could affect your VR experience.
Moreover, the current Oculus code of conduct will cease to exist. Users will have to follow Facebook’s Community Guidelines. Oculus has made it clear that they will change their Terms and Condition.
They plan on making the full disclosure before the changes come into effect.
Specific Changes to Older Accounts
You will be able to keep your VR account name. Only the means of logging in will change. Facebook will notify your friend list about your Oculus presence. (this applies new users as well). You can avoid this notification by putting “Only Me” in the Oculus setting.
Users will be able to access the same device with their Facebook accounts. The individual information will be, of course, private.
What are the New Features of Facebook and Oculus account Merger?
The new merger is heading towards a social media approach to Oculus. Features of Facebook, like chatting and events, are significant highlights. You can chat with your friends and family with or without headsets. You can invite them to individual organized events and tournaments.
Oculus has hinted about shareable VR avatar across Facebook-owned apps and technologies.
Likewise, there is an option of sharing your gameplay in the Facebook timeline. You can share the gameplay in groups. There is also an option of creating a part to hand out with friends.
But, Facebook will not automatically share your Oculus activity in the timelines. It will ask your permission. It is up to you what to share.
How Will The Data Use Change?
Data use will be similar to other Facebook subsidiary companies like Instagram. Facebook will target ads based on your Oculus activity. They promise that they use the data to improve your user experience.
You’ll get notified about events that may be interesting. Also, you will get ads for potential Oculus products.
Reason Behind the Account Merger
The account merger is not a surprise. Facebook acquired apps like Instagram can be logged into by a Facebook account. It was only a matter of time before the tech giant did the same with Oculus.
In 2019, Facebook’s apps, including Oculus, began featuring “From Facebook” in their logo. The account merger is the tech giants’ approach to maintain its hold in the social media market.
People have shown outrage over social media about the account merger. The users raised questions about Facebook’s alleged privacy violation. But, the argument is void as Facebook already owns Oculus. They have since acquiring it in 2014. Technically, they already own the data.
Another major controversy is about Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus. According to Oculus users, he broke his promise when Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014. They claim he had promised about Oculus users never needing a Facebook account.
He receiving outrage on social media. To clarify, he put on a statement on Reddit on 18th August 2020. He said,
I am already getting heat from users and media outlets who say this policy change proves I was lying when I consistently said this wouldn’t happen, or at least that it was a guarantee I wasn’t in a position to make.
He further added,
I want to make clear that those promises were approved by Facebook in that moment and on an ongoing basis, and I really believed it would continue to be the case for a variety of reasons.
Plamer even mentioned his earlier statements. He said,
In hindsight, the downvotes from people with more real-world experience than me were definitely justified.
A few examples below so people won’t make up their own version of what I actually said:
- I guarantee that you won’t need to log into your Facebook account every time you wanna use the Oculus Rift.
- You will not need a Facebook account to use or develop for the Rift
- Nope. That would be lame.
- I promise.
Looking at the history of social media outrage, it will hardly come in the way of the account merger. So, get ready for the “new” Oculus experience!