Meta announced that starting next month, Meta VR users will no longer need to have a Facebook account to create a VR profile, which until now was a VR login requirement.
The move will separate Meta’s metaverse push from its traditional social media business, which could help Meta distance itself from its Facebook brand – while users will still be able to link their social media and VR profiles to each other. they wish.
As Meta explains:
“As of August 2022, if you are new to Meta VR devices or have already merged your Oculus account with your Facebook account, you will need to create a Meta account and a Meta Horizon profile. If you logged in to your VR device with your Oculus account, you can continue to do so until January 1, 2023, when you will need to create a Meta Account and a Meta Horizon Profile to continue using your Meta VR device. .”
The process, in Meta’s words, evolves your Oculus profile into a new, customizable Meta Horizon profile, which will then become how you represent your social presence in VR. This, again, will help provide a clear delineation between your Facebook past and your VR future, which could be a good way for Meta to start its metaverse push with a clean – or at least, cleaner – slate.
Because the Facebook brand has been tarnished over the years by various incidences of data misuse and other controversies, while Facebook is also now an older and more outdated presence in the market. Anchoring future VR experiences to the Facebook app could leave Meta also anchored to its past perceptions, which could make this a particularly effective and important update.
Indeed, Meta would like to point out that your The meta-account is not a social network profile:
“[Your Meta account] lets you connect to your VR devices and view and manage your purchased apps in one place. In the future, we will extend the functionality of Meta Account so that you can use it to log in to other Meta devices.
So it’s a fresh start, a completely new and modern profile format, which will be connected to your digital avatars and other experiences and tools of the future, without your Facebook history being linked to your presence.
Although, as noted, you’ll still be able to link your Facebook account if you wish, which will help you find friends in the VR space. You’ll also now be able to connect just your Instagram account, a much-requested addition, which again provides more capability to formulate a whole new digital presence, without Facebook being the primary proxy.
Which in some ways also seems to devalue the Facebook brand, or at least acknowledge that Facebook’s time may be limited.
I mean, the stats speak for themselves – according to Meta’s own internal data, younger users just aren’t relying on Facebook like they have in the past, indicating a broader abandonment of the network social, in favor of newer and newer platforms. .
Now Meta may also be one of them – but again, it feels like it’s a bit of a white flag from Zuck and Co, an acknowledgment that a lot of people just don’t like. Facebook, which could eventually become an existential concern for the app.
But it makes sense. The idea that you can start your metaverse experience without having to log your Facebook history is refreshing, like a whole new experience that you can manage in a more deliberate and informed way.
Most people created their Facebook profile as teenagers, and there are probably various links and connections that no longer interest you.
The metaverse, and your digital presence, is a whole new realm. And no, it may be exactly that, because Facebook is becoming a thing of the past.
This is what seems likely to happen. Meta’s renaming isn’t just about distancing itself from bad associations, it’s a forward-looking move that will eventually allow it to emerge from the stigma of Facebook’s past.
Of course, to really achieve that, it also needs to make sure it applies the lessons learned from building Facebook when building the metaverse, which includes security tools, ad-targeting errors, censorship, etc
Indications so far are that the Meta will have some big challenges ahead on the security front. But maybe if he can get it right, he can shed some Facebook baggage as he reappears in the world of the Metaverse.