Facebook spent more time than usual talking about its success with VR in its quarterly earnings call, taking time to note the success of the developer and peddling its latest Quest 2 VR headset.
One of the remaining quarks of the VR platform is the general lack of third-party support for apps that go beyond gaming. The headset is a powerful piece of hardware that has few VR ports of available mobile apps, with even Hulu and Netflix’s available streaming apps receiving very few updates due to the relatively small number of headsets.
Facebook, a major app maker, seems to have played a fairly delicate balance in bringing some usability of isolating headsets to consumers who might not be interested in a piece of Facebook-branded hardware. After Facebook-login was mandated last fall, it seems like most bets should go away. Today’s Company announced That Quest and Quest 2 users can now gain access to Messenger chat inside the app, allowing users to fire up instant canned messages to friends, send instant messages using the in-VR keyboard, or text with the headset’s voice Can use the facility.
For those bothered by the presence of Facebook’s increasingly bulky software on its VR platform, this will likely be another reason to avoid Quest 2, but those who are eager to make their VR gameplay a more social experience or came up with strapping Avoiding total isolation. On a headset and ignoring your phone, it would be much more welcome.
Along with the Messenger update, Facebook also shared that with the new update, they will roll out what they call App Lab, essentially a testflight-like feature that lets Quest users download content outside the curated Oculus store Allow to do. This is a feature meant to address developmental grievances that prevent Facebook game designers from bringing content to Quest. Users can search the title by name in the app lab or click on a link to be directed to the title. The new facility competes directly with Sidequest, a startup that is building a hub for more experimental Quest content.
Facebook says the new update is rolling out to users “slowly”, so not all users can see the update immediately.