Oculus parent company Facebook today announced it’s bringing Spaces, the company’s own social VR app, to HTC Vive.
Like YouTube, which Google recently brought to the Vive, Facebook works only when it’s available to as many people as possible. And the same makes sense for Facebook Spaces. If the goal is social interaction in VR, the ‘network effect’ gets a boost when more people have access.
Facebook’s head of social VR Rachel Rubin Franklin said in the blog post announcing the app’s new cross-platform functionality that Vive users will “find all the same fun features as the Rift version — you can create your own avatar, view Facebook photos and 360 videos, play games, draw with markers, go Live, make Messenger video calls, and (my favorite) take awesome selfies.”
Rubin Franklin says that Vive support is “only the beginning: We’re working to bring Facebook Spaces to even more VR platforms and devices in the future, so stay tuned.”
Don’t look for Spaces on Steam yet though, because Facebook is hosting the executable directly on its site. Simply pick your platform, and download the file.
Spaces launched in April 2017 with a number of basic features, most of which Rubin Franklin lists above. The company recently opened up the platform to third-party app developers however in effort to build out its offering of activities, including its first big mini-game update courtesy Bait! Arctic Open.
Facebook’s extension of Spaces to HTC Vive somewhat clashes with Oculus’ historical practice of creating exclusive content to drive headset sales. This is however independent from the fact that Facebook’s desktop/mobile app is hardware agnostic, making it an interesting, but altogether understandable move by the social network giant in effort to gain more users (and more user data) so they can further refine their social VR platform.