The Meta Metaverse Weekly: Quest Headset Users Don’t Need Facebook Logon Anymore

Meta, metaverse, login, Facebook, VR

Meta is pushing Facebook out its door into the metaverse.

The company announced Thursday (July 7) that it will no longer require users of its top-selling Meta Quest virtual reality (VR) headset to use a Facebook account to log into Horizon Worlds, the proto-metaverse it’s building out of the 3D gaming headset’s game zone.

That matters for a number of reasons, most notably that the $300 Meta Quest 2 is easily the most popular and top-rated headset on the market.

While talk of three-dimensional, visually-immersive experience in a virtual world is still mostly … talk, even the current, cartoonish versions like Meta’s Horizon Worlds will require a virtual reality headset. And if the best one, dollar-for-dollar, requires a Facebook account, it’s hardly the portal to an open virtual world that isn’t dominated by one company.

The point is to distance Meta’s metaverse ambitions from Facebook, which as a brand has a serious trust deficit.

“You’ll be relieved to hear that neither Meta nor Mark Zuckerberg are going to run the metaverse single-handedly,” Meta President of Global Affairs (and former U.K. Deputy Prime Minister) Nick Clegg said in a May blog post. “The metaverse is going to be built by many different companies, and different companies will build different operating systems, different worlds, different services, different experiences.”

Instead, users will need a new Meta Account, which “is not a social media profile,” the company said emphatically. “It lets you log into your VR devices and view and manage your purchased apps in one place.”

Users can, however, connect it to their Facebook and Instagram accounts, enabling tools like finding friends to game with or chat on Messenger.

However, they will also need a Meta Horizon Profile, replacing existing users’ Oculus profiles — the headset was formerly branded Oculus Quest — that may not be a Facebook account, but are certainly social media accounts — or at least the stub of one.

It “is your social profile in VR,” the company said, complete with a profile name, photo and avatar. “Your Oculus friends will become your followers, similar to how it works on Instagram.”

Beyond that, the account “provides more ways to be social and connect with others. You can choose whether to share your active status and activity updates, like the apps you own and your achievements, with your followers,” it said.

Privacy settings include Open to Everyone, Friends and Family, and Solo.

The Next Generation

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently demonstrated some of the technology the company is working on incorporating into its next-generation Quest headset, including far better graphics and eye-tracking capabilities.

See also: Zuckerberg Shows off Meta’s VR Progress

Now it has a name and a price tag, according to Bloomberg. Details on the Meta Quest Pro were found in the code of Apple’s Meta headset app, it said, and a source added that it would cost more than $1,000.

It will also have better exterior cameras for augmented reality (AR) functions.

Novi Lives On

On July 1, Meta announced that it was shutting down the last vestige of its abortive Libra/Diem stablecoin project, the Novi digital wallet, which would have let 2.3 billion Facebook users around the planet make near-instant payments in a cryptocurrency not directly connected to any nationally issued fiat.

Read more: Meta Closes Novi Wallet, Which Launched Stablecoins, CBDCs

But, Bloomberg reported, its technology will live on in the metaverse

“We are already leveraging the years spent on building capabilities for Meta overall on blockchain and introducing new products, such as digital collectibles,” a Meta spokesperson told Bloomberg, referring to non-fungible tokens (NFTs). “You can expect to see more from us in the Web 3.0 space because we are very optimistic about the value these technologies can bring to people and businesses in the metaverse.”

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