Facebook forms team dedicated to 'social VR'

Oculus owner says that it wants to bring the structure of networks such as Instagram and WhatsApp to virtual reality
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Facebook is to bring its knowledge of social media to virtual reality.

The company, which purchased Oculus last year, announced at this year’s Mobile World Congress that it had formed a new division dedicated to so-called ‘social VR’.

Speaking on stage, CEO Mark Zuckerberg (summarised on Facebook’s news blog) compared the network’s efforts to popular photo sharing sites such as Instagram and messaging platforms including WhatsApp and Facebook’s own Messenger.

“This team will explore how people can connect and share using today’s VR technology, as well as long-term possibilities as VR evolves into an increasingly important computing platform,” he said.

“We’ve already helped people connect in a wide variety of ways on mobile devices — ranging from Facebook and Instagram to Messenger and WhatsApp — and now we want to apply that same approach to the new medium of VR.”

The division will operate separately from Oculus, but will team up with the VR specialist’s own development team on the creation of particular projects and technologies.

“In the future, VR will enable even more types of connection — like the ability for friends who live in different parts of the world to spend time together and feel like they’re really there with each other,” Zuckerberg predicted.

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