Community Download is a weekly discussion-focused article series published (usually) every Monday in which we pose a single, core question to you all, our readers, in the spirit of fostering discussion and debate. For today’s Community Download, we are focused on the Facebook account integration issues surrounding Oculus headsets.
Now that the Oculus Quest 2 is out, it seems to be selling well enough. Facebook has said it’s selling better than the original Quest and developers are reporting nice bumps in game sales as well. However, that isn’t the whole story.
In the video below from our weekly VR podcast, The VR Download, at this provided time stamp we discussed the House report that called into question the potentially “anticompetitive” nature of Facebook’s position:
Facebook Account Integration
Many VR enthusiasts are upset about the required Facebook account integration. If you’re unaware, the concern is that you are required to connect a legitimate Facebook account that’s in “good standing” to your Oculus account when you setup your Quest 2 for the first time. No Facebook? No Quest 2.
This presents a multitude of potential (and actual) problems. For starters, not everyone uses Facebook or wants to use Facebook as a social media platform. It may seem simple enough to just make an account to use with your Quest 2, but some users are running into issues or getting banned which results in your Quest 2 essentially being rendered useless.
Another concern here is that if you connect your Facebook account to your Oculus account, buy and play games on your headset, and then decide you don’t want to use Facebook or want to take a break from social media and suspend or delete your Facebook account — you lose all your VR apps. Even the ones you paid for.
Over the weekend concerns rose about using the same account across multiple headsets resulting in issues, but that appears to have been a miscommunication.
The good thing about all of this, in theory, is that it forces you to be accountable for your actions online. You can display your Oculus ID instead of your Facebook name — they’re not forcing you to go by your IRL name online or anything — but on the backend, it’s still connected. The ideal result is that people act decent and don’t do things that could result in getting banned because it would mean erasure of their entire account and existence in VR.
That could be a net positive for the VR community overall, but at what cost?
There’s a lot to process here, so the question this week is a bit broad: Do you think Facebook is taking Oculus VR account integration too far? Why or why not? Let us know down in the comments below!