Starting this October, new Oculus VR owners will require a Facebook account to use their shiny new devices. Facebook announced the changes in a blog post along with what to do if you already have an Oculus account.
Those with existing Oculus accounts can either permanently merge their account with Facebook or continue using their Oculus account for two years. After January 1, 2023, Facebook will drop support for Oculus accounts. This will also cause those who haven’t migrated to a Facebook account to lose full functionality of their device. Oculus owners will still be able to use their headsets, but some games and applications may not work, especially if they require a Facebook login.
While this will undoubtedly be a bummer for some people, Facebook believes this is the best way to enable a social experience while also maintaining security and integrity. Facebook will be able to put Oculus accounts under the Facebook Community Standards to provide a “more consistent way to report bad behavior” and “hold people accountable.”
Having a mandatory Facebook account doesn’t necessarily mean all your information will be available to your existing Facebook friends. Users maintain a separate “VR profile” that they can customize to their liking. You can choose what information about your VR activity is posted on Facebook. You can even prevent your Oculus friends from finding you by your Facebook name. Facebook will also allow multiple users to sign into a single Oculus device using their individual Facebook accounts.
Facebook initially purchased Oculus VR for $2 billion in 2014. Since then, the company has sought to integrate Oculus with Facebook to utilize more of the social aspects. For example, the company has dabbled in creating virtual spaces to meet with friends. The aptly named “Spaces” was the first jaunt into virtual social experiences before it was shut down last year. The company followed up with Horizon, which is currently in beta.