Facebook launches a new virtual reality social network called Facebook Spaces. You can create an avatar that you can modify to look just like you and pay out time with three other people in virtual space. You can invite your Facebook friends to hang out in Spaces, take selfies, draw pictures with virtual pens, invite them to VR chat and much more. Initially, Facebook Spaces app was available in beta but now it is made available for free on the Oculus store. It makes use of Touch controllers to track your hand movements. Rachael Franklin, head of social VR at Facebook said, “We have found the easiest way to bring the real you into Virtual Reality.”
Facebook has made a huge investment of $2 billion for the purchase of virtual reality technology Oculus Rift. Additionally, CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg invested around $250 million in VR. An additional feature provided by Facebook Spaces is that you can pull in photos from your Facebook account and expand them on screen. You can also experience a 360-degree view of a movie set or a boardwalk but you can’t walk around as the environment of Oculus setup is stationary. If your friend doesn’t have the Oculus setup you can still call chat with them through messenger by calling them in your virtual world.
Facebook is not the first one to create the virtual reality social network. Companies like AltSpace has also tried to do something similar before. Social networks are still working on the issues like fake news, harassment and violent threats. Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s CTO, said that each avatar has a bubble of personal space around them that can be broken down only by handshakes or fist bumps if the avatar agrees. Schroepfer further says, “it delete some of the bad parts that can happen when people are unidentified.”