Facebook, the “Horizon” looks virtual

Facebook have confirmed they will be building a virtual reality environment called “Horizon”. They want more people using VR and here’s how they are going to achieve that…

The app will e built on zones, some for mingling and meeting new people and some for VR games. Users will have their own cartoon avatar to navigate their way between these spaces.

The beta for the app will be rolling out to a small number of current Facebook users in early 2020.

Details about “Horizon” were shown off at the Facebook Oculus Connect 6 developer conference last week, including both screen grabs and in app footage.

There will also be human guides to help new users get accustomed to the new environment, these guides will not however be policing the app, therefore the policing falls back on the user to report unjust behaviour in the virtual world.

Users will be able to design their own worlds and avatars adding personal customisation to the app, something that has been lacking in many of the virtual worlds up till now.

However, users will still be limited in parameters as they will have to conform to style guides set out by Facebook and for use with the Facebook Oculus Quest headset, something that could infuriate the “real” gamer out there, as the graphics are a fraction of that expected from real gaming headsets.

Sam Machkovech, reporter for Ars Technica, having tried “Horizon” has given his insights.

“We’re still waiting for Facebook to inspire confidence that it will launch a social-VR app and stick with it for more than two years,”

This is because Facebook have tried several VR worlds over the years which have never really roused the senses of the mass market.

“Horizon” will mean that all existing VR environments Facebook have available will be shutting down on the 25th of October 2019

The creation of Horizon means Facebook will shut down its current VR hang-outs – Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms. Both will close on 25 October.