Facebook launches Facebook Spaces, its first real VR app

Wednesday, 19 Apr, 2017

To fill in some of the gap, Facebook Spaces steps in.

Mike Schroepfer, Facebook's CTO, told CNNTech that each avatar has a bubble of personal space around them that can only be broken by handshakes or fist-bumps if the avatar agrees. They can also access selfie sticks and take photos of your digital avatar and your friend's avatar.

Facebook Spaces is coming more than three years after the social media giant acquired Oculus.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg started off by addressing the recent murder of Robert Godwin, Sr, just minutes after his alleged assailant, Steve Stephens, had reportedly taken his own life to avoid capture by Pennsylvania State Police. "We're launching in beta, and we'll add new features as we learn from your feedback and continue exploring what makes social VR experiences most meaningful". Friends can be easily muted or removed form a space. Today, Facebook is reaching an important milestone as it launches the first significant integration of social virtual reality into its core product.

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For example: Two friends who live across the country from one another could put on headsets, open Spaces on the Oculus Rift and meet anywhere in the world as their respective avatars. Choose one of the options, and customize it to suit your taste. You can change your eye color, hairstyle, facial features and more until your look fits your identity. (You can choose from default backgrounds or use your own 360 pictures.) Your avatar can also video call friends via Messenger, which you can pull up as a flat menu in the virtual space. Facebook Spaces lets users call a friend with Messenger video calling to invite them to VR space as well. Users can also surround themselves and their friends with 360-degree photos and videos from Facebook's library of content. It's called Facebook Spaces, and it might be the Oculus Rift's last, best chance at reestablishing itself as the leader in VR.

Want to download Spaces? Using the Touch, you can draw in the air to create anything you want.

The effects include masks and overlays that appear on selfies before users share them to the site - much like the animations that have helped to make Snapchat so popular.