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Facebook links its VR headset to Messenger

Through Oculus’s App Lab, developers can safely distribute apps without the need for sideloading, the company noted.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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Facebook’s virtual reality (VR) headset Oculus will now allow users to chat with their Facebook friends through the headset.

Users who have logged onto Oculus Quest or Quest 2 devices with their Facebook accounts can now chat with their Facebook friends using the Messenger, the company said in a statement.

Oculus users can chat using Messenger with friends who don’t have a VR headset. They won’t have to remove the device. They can just type out in the VR, selecting a pre-written conversation starter, or using the voice-to-text feature.

The linking is another step in Facebook’s plan to integrate its platforms, similar to how it sewed up Instagram and Messenger last year.

Also Read | German regulators launch new Facebook investigation over VR

Using chat feature via Messenger will not change Oculus users’ existing privacy settings, the company clarified. And they can continue messaging Oculus contacts using the device’s chat functionality with the existing username.

Facebook has begun rolling out software update for Oculus Quest headsets to making it easier for developers to create apps. Through Oculus’s App Lab, developers can safely distribute apps without the need for sideloading, the company noted.

Software and apps are generally downloaded from the internet. Sideloading is the process of installing a software directly into a device through a USB, or Bluetooth or an external storage.

Also Read | Facebook's new virtual office space in Oculus

Facebook’s other revenue grew 156% last quarter compared with the previous year, driven by Oculus Quest 2 VR headset sales, it said in the financial statement. Other revenue represented about 3% of the firm’s total revenue, while the company continues to earn mostly from advertising.

Moreover, Facebook said it is witnessing “a growing ecosystem of developers” on the platform. Over 60 Oculus developers are generating revenue in millions, nearly twice as many as a few months ago, the company noted.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 4:06:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/facebook-links-its-vr-headset-to-messenger/article33780572.ece

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