On stage at Facebook’s F8 conference this morning, CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that the company will today launch their first social VR application.

Back in October, Facebook Social VR Product Manager Mike Booth said that the company intended to launch their social VR application “as soon as possible” and it seems he wasn’t joking.

On stage at F8 today, the company announced the launch of Facebook Spaces in beta for Oculus Rift and Touch. The app is available now on the Oculus store.

Facebook has given a glimpse at their work on their social VR application over the last year. When the company first introduced the application, they showed things like avatar customization and virtual selfie uploading. More recently the company showed further development which completely overhauled their approach to avatars in social VR, and showed an impressive ability to make video calls from within VR to the outside world.

Now the company has launched their latest build of the social VR app in beta for the Oculus Rift.

This new VR app takes some of the best features of Facebook and brings them into your VR space. Spend time with friends and family like you’re really there, step inside 360 videos, draw and play with Touch, and more. The beta launches today for Rift—don’t miss it on the Oculus Store.

The app also launches with the Messenger video chat option, to make video calls to people between Facebook Spaces in VR and the real world.

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Facebook says that when it comes to building your avatar, the company is using computer vision to suggest customization potions based on your Facebook profile picture.

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  • Gluv

    If only this isn’t connected to facebook… Hopefully another company makes a social vr app that doesn’t have to connect our real identity. Having a vr identity that is completely separated from our real identity would totally be a killer app.

    • Lucidfeuer

      AltSpace VR for exemple.

    • Foreign Devil

      Facebook VR is designed to work like Facebook. . in that you are only interacting with people you know in your network. Anonymity has it’s place in open world games. . but also opens the doors for trolls and armchair tough guys.

    • Jim Cherry

      chat roulette vr != killer app

  • Lucidfeuer

    Everything that is facebook is a big no for me.

    • Jeff

      VR and AR will completely take over social as soon as the tech has mass adoption. This is our big chance to move to a different, better service not dominated by brainwashing, white washing and corporitization/monetization of our private social interactions. fb only dominates social because everyone has to be on the same service for it to be really compelling and convenient. My fear is that the average consumer would rather be brainwashed for free then pay a small fee for a great service- thus the main social vr hub will be a free but advertisement filled, data tracked, manipulative virtual dystopia- you know- like fb.

      • Lucidfeuer

        More than that my friend, more than that: VR, as well as AI, are our last computing chances at not making the mistake we did with the whole internet.

  • Foreign Devil

    Looks cool. . But I do find it a misrepresentation when they have eye tracking and eyebrow tracking on the promo video with people wearing Rift. Last I checked. . Rift can’t track your pupils or eyebrows. . I’ll hazard that you could do lipsync anims based off the audio.

    • OkinKun

      I think some of the expressions are controlled by the thumbsticks.. not sure yet. lol

    • Becca

      They also simulate a lot of facial movement to make things appear more natural, e.g. blinking, eye movement

  • OkinKun

    I hesitate to connect my oculus and facebook accounts, dono if that’s required..
    But I’m still probably gonna try this, pretty amazing if this takes off!

  • theojw71

    This concept is going to look embarrassingly terrible in 5 years, when human-real avatars in VR are the norm. Looks like Facebook is ten years late in their thinking (like Google’s autonomous vehicles programme, or Google Glass).

    Worse still, rushing out with this “gimmick” will damage adoption of a better solution in a year that might be driven more by customer outcomes than media-grabbing headlines.

    It offers nothing that a video conferencing call can’t do better. VR is about “being there, together” – which isn’t the case when you are a cartoon face, drawn badly on a wooden spoon.

    • kalqlate

      This concept is going to look embarrassingly terrible in 5 years, when human-real avatars in VR are the norm.

      To do “human-real avatars” will take a huge leap in processing power over today’s level. I’m not a Facebook fan–I don’t even use it–but what makes you think Facebook won’t advance Spaces as the hardware advances?

      This “gimmick” gives a glimpse and inspiration as to what’s possible… in the future. All things have a starting point, which always takes time to reach closer to perfection.

      A video conference isn’t at all immersive. The two can’t be compared, even when the VR thing is cartoonish. They are COMPLETELY different experiences.

  • Will have to try it out, after i’m done playing Dead and Buried

  • Walextheone

    This was an awesome experience. Calling friends and family and having a laugh =)
    Guess it’s even more cool if the other persons are in VR too

  • Jeff

    Does every avatar actually have a Facebook logo/advertisement emblazoned on their chest?! Where does the madness end?!

  • Pre Seznik

    This is so incredibly stupid. I can’t imagine any significant number of people actually doing this anytime soon.

  • Hogo

    can the vive use that rift emulator thing for this?

    • Hawk1290

      Yes

  • kalqlate

    Per the video: They really MUST have the teeth in the mouth fade to black the further back in the mouth they are. It just looks silly without any shadowing in the mouth and all teeth shining like laser beams.

  • Nairobi

    There goes any interest in having cool private VR chat sessions. Big Zuckerburg is watching you.