Facebook confirmed it is testing a “new and improved version” of its Venues software with a limited group of people on Oculus Quest that will add a lobby to meet up with friends and fans “as well as more social features.”
Oculus Venues launched in 2018 for Go and Gear VR and pushed forward Facebook’s merging of its Oculus VR platform and existing Facebook social network, as it required participants to use their Facebook account to access live events in VR. Both those earlier VR headsets are no longer sold, however, as Facebook focuses its strategy around the Quest standalone headset with some features backed by Facebook’s policy which asks people to use a name that “should also appear on an ID.” Facebook contends the policy, which is also used with its forthcoming VR-based Horizon social networking effort, allows the organization to “do some great things around both safety – making sure it’s backed by a real person – but also for the people who want to invite more of their social network from their Facebook world into their VR environment,” a representative explained at the OC6 developer’s conference in 2019.
“This week we began testing a new and improved version of Venues in beta early access with a limited group of people on Oculus Quest,” a Facebook spokesperson explained in an email today. “The new Venues experience places a stronger emphasis on social interaction, including a lobby where you can meet up with friends and fans, as well as more social features. We’ll continue rolling this out in the coming weeks and will have more to share soon.”