Facebook Taps Into Social Potential of VR
Social media giant Facebook, who owns Oculus VR, is exploring a new potential market for virtual reality – social interactions. Breaking ground on this is the creation of a dedicated team to work on “social VR” as it braces itself for the upcoming launch of the much-awaited Oculus Rift VR headset.
Having its roots planted on social media, Facebook has revealed its plans about social VR during the recently concluded Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. In a press conference during the said event, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg surprised its attendees by talking about this development, as well as the unexpected growth of 360-degree video adoption on Facebook.
Driven by the Samsung Gear VR headset, which technology is adopted from Oculus VR, 360-degree video adoption on Facebook has been quite a success, according to Zuckerberg. “People have already watched more than a million hours of video in Gear VR,” stated by Facebook in a blog post following the press conference event. It adds, “Already, millions of people watch 360(degree) videos on Facebook every day. More than 20,000 have been uploaded, with hundreds more added daily.”
Because of this key milestone for Facebook, the company has created its social VR team to work on improving and polishing the VR experiences of its user base within the social media service, as well as to develop other kinds of content for VR aside from games.
According to Facebook, “This team will explore how people can connect and share using today’s VR technology, as well as long-term possibilities as VR evolves into an increasingly important computing platform. They will work closely with Oculus and other teams at Facebook to build the foundation for tomorrow’s social VR experiences on all platforms.”
While the company admits that their work on VR is still in its infancy, Facebook has VR as one of its top priorities in research and development efforts. According to an interview by Wired with Zuckerberg, he says, “The thing that’s really striking is that when you have another person there, the whole thing inherently becomes social. It’s not a game. There’s no points. There’s no score. There’s no objective. But people find ways to interact. And they’re novel ways of interacting.”
For more information on Facebook’s VR developments, please visit the following websites: