Meta Says Goodbye to Facebook Login Requirement for VR Users
Mark Zuckerberg has announced the introduction of Meta accounts, a new way for people to log into their virtual reality (VR) headsets that doesn’t require a Facebook account.
Beginning in August 2022, new users of Meta VR devices or those have previously merged Oculus accounts with Facebook accounts, will need to create a Meta account and Meta Horizon profile. For users who have been logging into their VR device with their Oculus account, they can continue to do so until January 1, 2023, at which point they’ll need to create a Meta account and Meta Horizon profile to continue using their Meta VR device.
In a recent statement, the company said “Your Meta account is not a social media profile; it lets you log into your VR devices and view and manage your purchased apps in one place. In the future, we’ll extend Meta account functionality so you can use it to log into other Meta devices.”
Users can also add their Meta accounts to the same Accounts Center as their Facebook or Instagram accounts to unlock connected experiences across Meta technologies—like finding their Facebook friends to play games with in VR or chatting with friends on Messenger. However, connecting social profiles is not a requirement to use the service.
Meta Horizon Profile
After a user finishes creating a Meta account, they will be prompted to create a Meta Horizon profile. The Meta Horizon profile is a social profile in VR and other surfaces, like from a web browser. Users will be able to customize how they appear to others, and can chose a unique username. Users will be able to create one Meta Horizon profile per Meta account.
The user’s Oculus friends will become their followers, similar to how it works on Instagram. According to the company, this update provides more ways to be social and connect with others. Those who already own a Meta VR headset, will automatically have their Oculus friends become their followers and will follow them back by default. Users can choose to unfollow anyone or remove followers at any time.
In a release, Meta said “We want to let you control who you interact with in VR and build your own community.”
The update includes a menu with three privacy options to help guide users through which privacy settings are the best fit for them: Open to Everyone, Friends and Family, and Solo. After a user makes their selection, they have the opportunity to review and confirm individual privacy settings are set the way they want them. The settings can be modified at any time.
As part of these privacy settings, users have the option to set their Meta Horizon profile to private, which means they’ll be asked to review and approve follower requests. If this option is chosen, only the individual’s followers can see who they follow and who follows them. However, other users will still be able to view a profile picture, avatar, username, display name, follower count, and the number of people followed. People can also still search for the user’s name or username and send follow requests.
Children between the ages of 13 and 17 will have their Meta Horizon profiles set to private by default.
For more information on Meta accounts or Meta Horizon profiles, visit oculus.com/blog/meta-accounts.