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Facebook Messenger enters VR on Oculus Platform

Oculus
(Image credit: Facebook)

After Facebook acquired Oculus, it was just a matter of time before the heavy-handed social media giant started to push its related social media products onto the Oculus platform. The company recently announced that it’s bringing Facebook Messenger to Oculus users. And to be honest, it seems a bit unnecessary. 

Oculus has its own standalone messaging app called Oculus Chat. And since it was built for Oculus, the app offers seamless integration with the platform. Another boon of the Oculus app is that it keeps the VR world separate from the outside world by allowing users to set privacy rules that are different from both Facebook and Messenger. Chat also allows you to curate different lists between Oculus and Facebook. Which means you can still message your Oculus friends using Oculus Chats with your existing Oculus username.

But it begs the question, why even bring Messenger to Oculus? Simple, because while some people like keeping their virtual and digital friends separate, others might want a bit more synergy. And if Facebook allows you to stream content via Messenger, that could be a cool way to get VR non-believers in on the fun. 

And in case you want to let friends or family take a turn with the headset, you just sign out of Messenger. And when you’re ready to hop back in, select your Messenger profile and re-enter your password."

As well as announcing the arrival of a Facebook Messenger to Oculus, the company also announced it has opened up the App Lab to developers to help them get wares onto the Oculus store, speeding up the process of getting new VR games and apps to users. 

Previously if a developer couldn’t get their apps passed through Oculus’s stringent process, developers would make them available via SideQuest where users could sideload them onto their Oculus VR headsets. Most users, however, do not have the gear or know-how to undertake such an endeavor so the creation of App Labs gives them a space on the Oculus platform for users to try them out.

Oculus had announced the creation of Add Labs last summer and reminded users in December 2020 that a Q1 rollout of App Labs was coming. Oculus stated  “App Lab titles are not housed in the Oculus Store, though they can be searched by exact name and found in the “App Lab” section of results.” Once purchased they’ll appear alongside all your normal content in Oculus Quest’s library."