Facebook Spaces – Virtual reality at its initial stages

Arooj    July 8, 2018

About Facebook:

Everyone knows about Facebook and almost everyone has an account on this social media network website where they connect with their friends, family and acquaintances. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and some of his fellow Harvard College students and room mates. The website was launched in 2004 that has now grown to become a $104 billion company with 2.2 billion monthly active users as of January 2018.

Rise of the Virtual Reality:

In 2014, Mark Zuckerberg bought the VR company Oculus for billions and since then Facebook has been working on realizing company’s vision for virtual reality and social networking.

As in Zuckerberg’s own words,

“There’s always a richer, more immersive medium to experience the world. And after video, the next logical step is fully immersive virtual reality.”

In 2016, Mark took the center stage at Oculus Connect summit to demonstrate what a Facebook social experience might look like in Virtual Reality along with unveiling Oculus’ work on a self-contained wireless VR headset that would create a new “standalone” product category.

Facebook Spaces:

It is clear with these new steps taken by Facebook that it isn’t just interested in live streaming but they have been working on a project called ‘Facebook Spaces’ that will take social networking experience to an immersive level.

Facebook spaces is a virtual reality application that allows users to interact with each other in a virtual environment as if they were in the same room. The application uses personalized avatars to personify individuals. People can share facebook content in VR rooms generated by Facebook spaces. The interaction takes place through VR headsets and controllers that is similar to hanging out with friends around a virtual coffee table like in the real world.

Facebook is constantly working on improving the experience and quality of this virtual reality application so that it feels as close to the reality as possible.

Avatars:

The application has now introduced hundreds of new options to customize your avatar so that it can reflect your personal style.

“Our goal is that everyone can represent themselves in VR in a way that feels natural, so we knew we could do better. In order to have a meaningful social experience in VR, you need an engaging avatar that represents you and helps you relate to other people in the virtual space. It’s a huge part of feeling like you’re ‘really there’ together. That’s why we’ve been continuously working to learn what helps people represent and express themselves while spending time with friends in VR.”

Facebook

Facebook Groups:

Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that virtual reality’s success wouldn’t hinge on games, or movies, or concerts. It would hinge on other people. It was initially launched to hang-out with your friends and family in your friends list but now this is no longer the case. Facebook recently offered this service for closed groups as well. Now you can bond with the people in the groups you are in.

Lessons for Others

Although the virtual reality experience and the options it offers is still in its initial stages but with the way it is innovating, one can safely say that we could be at the cusp of a virtual reality revolution.

Facebook spaces is closer to the science fiction fantasy that we’ve been presented with, where a digitized version of ourselves interact with others across the world.  As per Facebook this whole experience is geared towards facilitating communications among friends and forging deeper bonds while having fun.

Organization: Facebook
Industry: Digital technology
Name of Organization Contact: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO

Authored by: Arooj Prem

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


References

  • Patel, Deep (2017, September 27). 10 Social-Media Trends to Prepare for in 2018
    [Type: Web article]. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/300813
  • Facebook. (n.d). How does Facebook Spaces work?. Retrieved on 8 July, 2018 from https://www.facebook.com/help/241256606347754
  • Oculus. (n.d), Experiences. Retrieved on 8 July, 2018 from https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/1036793313023466/
  • Facebook. (n.d). Mainpage. Retrieved on 8 July, 2018 from https://www.facebook.com/spaces
  • Statt, Nick (2018, April 2). Facebook updated its VR avatars to look more ‘lifelike’ [Type: Web Article]. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/2/17189516/facebook-spaces-vr-avatar-customization-options-oculus-rift
  • Sorrentino, Mike. (2018, April 2). Facebook Spaces changes up its VR avatar system [Web Article]. Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-spaces-changes-up-its-vr-avatar-system/
  • Moon, Mariella (2018, February 2). Facebook opens up social VR app Spaces to Groups [Web article]. Retrieved from https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/13/facebook-social-vr-app-spaces-groups/
  • Rouse, Margaret (2017, May). Facebook Spaces [web article]. retrieved from https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Facebook-Spaces-is-the-social-media-companys-foray-into-virtual-reality
  • Rubin, Peter (2016, July 10). Mark Zuckerberg’s VR Selfie Is a Bigger Deal Than You Realize [web article]. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2016/10/oculus-facebook-social-vr/
  • Murphy, Mike (2017, December 06). Facebook is the king of social media, but that doesn’t mean we’ll want to use it in VR [web article]. Retrieved from https://qz.com/1148810/facebook-is-the-king-of-social-media-but-that-doesnt-mean-well-want-facebook-spaces-in-vr-fb/
  • Heath, Alex (2017, January 17). Mark Zuckerberg reveals that Facebook paid more than we thought for Oculus VR [web article]. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-actually-paid-3-billion-for-oculus-vr-2017-1

 

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