Meta Headsets Will No Longer Require Facebook Accounts from August 2022
In a major about turn to its usage policy, Meta has today announced the scrapping of the requirement for a Facebook account to log into a Quest headset. The requirement was imposed in 2020 and has been subject to much controversy and privacy concerns.
In a Facebook post, Zuckerberg announced that users will no longer need Facebook accounts to log into their Meta Quest 2 and future Meta headsets. Instead, users will simply log in with new Meta accounts. The requirement has been a major issue for many users.
The Meta account system are set to launch from August 2022 and will roll out to both new and existing Quest users.
Users already using their Facebook accounts with the Quest headsets will need to create a Meta account and the associated profile from next month. In case you have been logging in via the Oculus account, you can continue using this until January 2023. When migrating your current Facebook or Oculus account to the new Meta accounts, you should be able to see all the virtual reality apps that you previously purchased.
The new requirement comes following Zuckerberg’s announcement last year. It will also placate a large portion of the Meta user-base or potential user-base who hated the Facebook account log-in requirement. It also emphasizes Meta’s pivot away from its traditional social media space into the virtual metaverse environments. Meta says it wants to extend the Meta account service into its other devices in the future, and possibly even to its Portal videophones.
However, in spite of the change to Meta accounts, many of the Facebook account requirements will also apply to the new account system.
The Meta account creation process will require personal information such as name, email address, phone number, date of birth as well as payment details for purchasing the apps.
In a blog post on the change, Meta says that the Meta account is “not a social profile.”
However, the blog also says that users will need to create a Meta Horizon profile, a social profile that will appear in virtual reality and other platforms such as the web.
The Meta accounts feature three privacy options on who is able to view your account activity on Horizon: “open to everyone,” friends and family,” and “solo” option. There is also the option to set your account privacy to “private” that allows you to approve who follows you.
The Meta accounts deploy a follower system such as on Instagram instead of the mutual “friends” system on Facebook. However, like Facebook, it enables users to search for locked down accounts on the service and users will even be able to see your avatar, profile picture, username, display name and the number of people following you and those you follow.
The major difference with social networks such as Facebook is that you are allowed to create multiple Meta accounts, each of which will have a separate Horizon profile. Facebook, on the other hand, has a “one public identity” rule. The implication here is that users will be allowed to create and maintain multiple personas in the metaverse. For instance, a user can have an account for gaming with their friends and probably a crisp and professional-looking business profile. These multiple accounts can also share apps on a device that uses Meta’s App sharing feature. There is also the option of linking your Meta accounts to Facebook or Instagram accounts to access the social features.
The inclusion of the separate account feature will also help resolve the issue of users being locked out of their Meta headsets following a temporary Facebook suspension which can happen due to minor violations.
While removing the Facebook account login is a welcome feature and will free up the headset for use across the community, Meta’s model is still regarded as more locked down compared to other competing virtual reality headsets, particularly the PC VR headsets that can be set up easily without an account. However, the new changes will be welcome for those who didn’t want to log into a Facebook account to use Quest headsets. At the same time, the new Meta accounts enable Meta to extend its branding efforts into the user accounts.