In Oculus Connect 6, Facebook's annual virtual reality (VR) developer conference, the company announced its next big boost to what they call "social virtual reality." Under the name of Facebook Horizon, it is a platform to interact and play, based largely on the content created by the users themselves. This tool take the place of Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms, which will close at the end of the year.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg left the main conference saying that the firm has focused on strengthening digital social interaction. Turning that into virtual reality means making it part of things like groups, events and messages, all of which are a big part of Facebook Horizon.
The process begins with the design of your own avatar – which strangely has no legs – which can be done with a variety of options of styles and sizes and personal and ethnic attributes to ensure that everyone can fully express their individuality ”, according to a publication from Oculus's blog.
From there, Horizon will introduce you to a main central world, with portals where you can go, starting with experiences created by Facebook itself, like a multiplayer areo game called Wing Strikers.
But, as Zuckerberg said, the focus is on user-generated content. Horizon calls that tool “World Builder” and can be used to create new environments and experiences. According to Facebook, it does not require skills in design or coding, so everyone can use it and enjoy their own creations.
The platform will be launched in beta in 2020 and but it is already receiving comparisons with old online platforms, such as Second Life, which has existed for more than a decade, reached 900,000 users and even grew to have its own world economy. It is known that the number of participants has declined dramatically, although the current number is unknown.
Along with the new virtual reality platform, Facebook also announced that the Finger Tracking feature will reach its Oculus Quest virtual reality lenses sometime in 2020.