Signaling the end to any remaining degrees of separation between Facebook and its VR headset division, Oculus, today the social media company announced that it will be further integrating the two services. Coming this fall, the company will begin sunsetting stand-alone Oculus accounts as part of an effort to transition the entire Oculus ecosystem over to Facebook. This will start in October, when all new Oculus accounts and devices will have to sign up for a Facebook account, while support for existing stand-alone accounts will be retired entirely at the start of 2023.

Originally an acquisition for Facebook, the Oculus Rift and underlying Oculus software ecosystem were initially developed by the then-independent Oculus VR group. After acquiring the company for $2 Billion back in 2014, Facebook has for the last several years largely treated Oculus as a stand-alone entity, selling products under the Oculus brand and leaving Facebook integration an optional feature – a feature co-founder Palmer Luckey even guaranteed during the 2014 acquisition.

None the less, Oculus’s days as a stand-alone ecosystem are now coming to a close, as Facebook has laid out their plans to transition Oculus users over to Facebook accounts, and the significant social media repercussions that entails.

According to Facebook, winding-down Oculus accounts will be a two-part process for the company. Starting in October, all new accounts will need to be Facebook accounts – or more specifically, users will need a Facebook account to log into the Oculus ecosystem. Meanwhile current stand-alone Oculus account holders will be grandfathered in for a time on their existing devices, however any future unreleased devices, even when paired with an existing Oculus account, will still require a Facebook login.

Facebook will then maintain support for grandfathered accounts through the start of 2023. At that point the company will officially drop support for stand-alone Oculus accounts, and while the company is not threatening to immediately disconnect or disable non-Facebook users, “full functionality will require a Facebook account.” In particular:

We will take steps to allow you to keep using content you have purchased, though some games and apps may no longer work. This could be because they require a Facebook account or because a developer has chosen to no longer support the app or game you purchased.

Ultimately, for Facebook this marks the final step of the Oculus acquisition, more fully integrating the company and its systems into the larger Facebook ecosystem. Facebook’s primary strength as a service provider to end-users remains its social offerings, so the company cannot fully exploit those strengths so long as Oculus users remain outside the Facebook ecosystem. At the same time, this will also give the revenue-generating side of Facebook significantly more access to information about Oculus users, which the company will then be able to use to use for targeted advertising, usage tracking, and other purposes.

Source: Facebook

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  • nico_mach - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    Farmville: "How dare you!?"
  • EdgeOfDetroit - Tuesday, August 18, 2020 - link

    If I was going to make a Facebook account, it would be as a 6-year old girl. Who magically became six again every six years. If Facebook shares out that data they're going to go to a federal prison.

    That said, its a lot easier to just not use Oculus.
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    Man, no they won't. Them and Google already share and sell your info to advertisers. And there's rolling leaks that happen among tech companies every few months or so.

    Yes, the simplest thing to do is stop endorsing such products by not using them.
  • Infy2 - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    Officially, they both claim "we will never sell your data". But they say nothing on giving your data out for free or letting third parties free access to it.
  • sonny73n - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    They would make some sort of deal with the ad companies with your data. They don’t “sell” your data but it’s definitely not for free.
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    I don't see a meaningful difference. It's all hidden in lawyer terminologies. For some lawyers its all they do - look for workarounds in law. There should be some law that makes it immune to such nonsense.

    I know Samsung got in trouble with their TVs few years ago because it said right in their EULA that they will spy on you or something like that.
  • icebox - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    Of course they don't sell our data. That's the money maker. They sell access to various metrics related to you. This way they can charge ad companies constantly not just one off.
  • SirPerro - Thursday, August 20, 2020 - link

    Technically they don't let third parties access it (At least Google, because I think Facebook was caught doing it) They do a shitton of money based on very precise targeted avertising though.
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    Legally, don't you have to be x age to create an account? (Above 6)
  • nico_mach - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - link

    Yes, and facebook knows if you're someone else. They already keep a file on everyone, based on ad data and your own friends/family. They're know you're not 6, or not your child, and might even prompt you about that. It's happened to friends of mine before.

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