Meta said its virtual reality (VR) headset users do not need a Facebook account to log into their headsets, which was a concern among several users.
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“We’re moving from being Facebook-first to metaverse-first. As part of this shift, we’ve taken a step back to reflect on what account model would best support our work to help build the metaverse,” the company said in a blog post.
Some VR users will have to create a Meta account sooner than others, but they must be 13 or older (or 14 or older in Spain and South Korea) to set it up.
People new to Facebook’s VR devices or who have previously merged their Oculus and Facebook accounts will need to create a Meta account starting in August.
Whereas, users who have been logging into their VR device with their Oculus account can continue to do so until January 1, 2023, and then create a Meta account.
Using their Meta account, users can view and manage their purchased apps. They can also add their account to their Facebook or Instagram’s ‘accounts centre’ to unlock connected experiences.
In addition to creating a Meta account, users will have to create a Meta Horizon profile, which will be their social profile in VR. They can choose a username, profile photo and avatar to customise how their profile appears to others in VR.
Besides, the company is shifting its current ‘Friends’ model to a new ‘Followers’ structure, similar to Instagram. And will allow users to choose whether to share their active status and updates with their followers.
As part of this update, users will have access to three privacy options: Open to Everyone, Friends and Family, and Solo. They can also set their Meta Horizon profile to private (default for users between 13 and 17 years).
These announcements come as the company works towards its ‘metaverse’ vision. Facebook, which rebranded itself as Meta, is focused on bringing the metaverse, an immersive digital realm, to life. It intends to move beyond 2D screens toward immersive experiences like VR and AR, and is making investments in this area.