Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, says it won’t require a Facebook account to use its VR headsets.
Incoming Meta CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth made the announcement in a broader blog post discussing the Facebook name change.
“We’re working on new ways to log into Quest that won’t require a Facebook account, landing sometime next year,” Bosworth wrote. “This is one of our highest priority areas of work internally.”
This is a notable reversal for Meta, which had previously said Facebook accounts would eventually be required to use its Meta Quest VR headsets (formerly Oculus Quest). It was a highly controversial move from a company that has already faced immense scrutiny over privacy, among other subjects.
The company also says it’s no longer using the Oculus branding “to make clear” that its VR division is tied to Meta. However, the names of the company’s apps — Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp — will remain the same.
In general, the tech giant’s overall name change is meant to signal its intention to expand beyond a social media company into a “metaverse” company. To put it simply, this is a world in which avatars of people can interact, work, play, go to concerts and other activities. This will leverage augmented and virtual reality technology and be built over a period of five to ten years, according to the company.