More than five years after launching, Facebook’s VR platform now has text chat, as long as you link your Oculus ID to your Facebook account.
This means you can now arrange VR sessions with your Oculus friends from your phone or PC. Keep in mind that linking your Facebook account now means your VR data may be collected and used for targeted advertising.
As with all Oculus features, this will roll out gradually over the next few days.
The Oculus Platform, meaning the store and networking services Facebook’s VR headsets use, first launched back in late 2014 for the Samsung Gear VR. But even after the launch of the Oculus Rift in 2016, despite Facebook being the global leader in social networking, the VR platform lacked any social features beyond inviting friends to join you in a VR game.
In December 2016 Oculus added Party voice chat to Gear VR, and rolled the same out to Rift in August 2017. If you’re on Rift, your Party can be be together in VR with Oculus Avatars since June 2018. Quest has yet to receive this.
But outside of VR, there was no built in way to communicate with your Oculus friends- until now. You can message your Oculus friends through the app or inside VR on the Oculus Quest.
We’ve reached out to Facebook to ask whether this feature will be available on the Oculus PC app and Rift Dash as well.
User Created Events, Messenger Invites, More
Linking your Facebook account to your Oculus ID will also provide the following new social features:
- Users can create Events, whereas previously only app developers could. This means you can arrange meetups or multiplayer games in advance and get reminders for it.
- You can now create Open Parties which friends can join without being invited (Parties have voice chat by default)
- You can send links to Facebook Messenger friends who use Oculus, so they can remotely launch into your VR session
- Screenshots and Video Recordings can now be shared to a Facebook Group, rather than just to your timeline.
- You can now Livestream directly to a Facebook Group instead of to all your friends
Parties will no longer be available if you don’t link your Facebook account, but you’ll still be able to use 3rd party social platforms like Rec Room and VRChat which use their own separate Party systems.