Facebook’s virtual reality ecosystem, Oculus, has become more Facebook-centric over the past few years. Soon it will be Facebook-mandatory.
A new change to the Oculus VR platform’s login policies now requires any new user to sign in using a Facebook account, starting in October. Oculus VR had allowed non-Facebook accounts to be created before, but merging with an existing Facebook account has still been needed to take advantage of a lot of Facebook’s Oculus social features.
The change allows existing non-Facebook-merged accounts to stay without a Facebook account for the time being, but those accounts will still need to merge with a Facebook account before January 1, 2023. According to Facebook, Oculus accounts that haven’t merged with a Facebook account by then will be deactivated.
According to Facebook: “Everyone using an Oculus device for the first time will need to log in with a Facebook account. If you’re an existing user and already have an Oculus account, you’ll have the option to log in with Facebook and merge your Oculus and Facebook accounts. If you’re an existing user and choose not to merge your accounts, you can continue using your Oculus account for two years.”
Enterprise Oculus VR won’t be affected by the change, according to the post.
The FAQ posted by Oculus insists that a VR account merged with a Facebook account could still be kept separate from the rest of someone’s Facebook social profile, but as Oculus’ future seems to lie in an increasingly social realm, it’s unclear how that will keep unfolding.
This continues a recent trend by Facebook to fold Oculus into the rest of its social platform. Facebook started allowing VR activity to be tracked to serve up ads at the end of last year. With Facebook’s social VR platform, Horizon, still slated to appear sometime in 2020, this feels like another step towards Oculus as a Facebook-enclosed ecosystem from now on.