Facebook is planning on hanging a "Thou Shalt Not Pass" sign on the entrance gate of its Oculus VR world for users who don't have a Facebook account.
In a recent blog (opens in new tab), Facebook-owned Oculus stated that, in just a few months, new device users will not be able to sign into the Oculus VR ecosystem without a Facebook account.
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When will Facebook phase out Oculus IDs in favor of Facebook accounts?
Starting in October, all customers using an Oculus device for the first time will be required to log in with a Facebook account. Existing users who already have an Oculus account will have the option to sign in with Facebook, and merge their Oculus and Facebook accounts.
If you're an Oculus account holder who does not want to hop on the Facebook bandwagon just yet, you'll have two years to enjoy a Facebook-less experience before the social-media giant ends its support for Oculus IDs. In other words, existing users can continue to log in without a Facebook account until 2023.
While non-Facebook account holders will still have access to their purchased content in 2023, they will have to an endure a platform with limited functionality. On top of that, some games and apps will not work without a Facebook-based account.
"This could be because they include features that require a Facebook account or because a developer has chosen to no longer support the app or game you purchased," the Oculus blog post said.
Why is Facebook phasing out Oculus IDs in favor of Facebook accounts?
Oculus listed three reasons behind its new Facebook-or-bust approach: seamless multiplayer experiences, better channels for sharing and streaming content, and a safer VR community as it adopts Facebook's guidelines.
"Giving people a single way to log into Oculus—using their Facebook account and password— will make it easier to find, connect, and play with friends in VR." Oculus wrote. The VR conglomerate pointed to Horizon, a massive social-experience VR game, as a prime example of the bright future it envisions for multiplayer VR.
Interestingly, this new Facebook sign-in mandate is exactly what VR enthusiasts feared when Facebook acquired Oculus in March of 2014. Although I'm not invalidating Oculus' claims that its Facebook enforcement will enhance several aspects of the Oculus VR experience, we all know their real motive.
Facebook, of course, wants to populate its sprawling network with more members to maintain a solid footing in the fickle social media market. Not to mention all the free advertising the social-media giant will receive when streamers evoke envy among friends who'll want to get their hands on a headset, too.
For Oculus account holders who are concerned about their private gaming activity being blasted on their Facebook feed, don't worry — the social-media giant confirmed that it will not post any content without users' permission.