The newest virtual reality application from Facebook is a long time coming: Facebook Spaces, a new application that enables much of Facebook’s service within virtual reality.
What does that mean in practice? It means virtual avatars!
You can invite up to three Facebook friends while using Facebook Spaces — those three friends have to own Oculus Rift headsets as well, the VR headset that Facebook makes. If you have the Oculus Touch controllers, you can use them to bring your hands into Spaces. Of note, the VR version of Facebook is only available for the Oculus Rift headset and not the Samsung Gear VR headset, which Facebook’s VR software also runs on.
You can interact with people in Facebook Messenger directly within Spaces — video from Messenger can literally be pumped directly in, as a virtual window, to Spaces. There’s a bunch of different stuff you can do in Spaces, but it primarily focuses on interacting with a small group of people. What kind of interactions? This stuff:
-You can take selfies together (featuring both virtual avatars and any Messenger videos).
-You can chat with friends who aren’t in VR.
-You can explore 360-degree videos with friends.
Spaces is available today, and you can find it in the early access section of the Oculus Home storefront. Facebook says it’s “only just scratched the surface of social VR technology,” and calls this a “beta” for Spaces — the app is headed to other VR headsets at some point in the future, though Facebook isn’t saying anything more about that just yet.