Launched today at Facebook’s F8 opening conference, the social network’s first social VR app is available on the Early Access section of the Oculus Store. While the interface is clearly intended for Oculus Touch controllers, it is possible to launch and operate the app with an HTC Vive headset and its motion controllers.
Facebook Spaces allows you to connect with friends inside and outside of VR with Messenger video calling, draw freeform objects in 3D, share media together, and more. Check out some of these features in action.
With Revive installed, the SteamVR launcher will show Facebook Spaces in the list of Oculus apps. Once loaded, it appears mostly functional, but the virtual hands feel a bit ‘detached’ as they were designed for use with Touch controllers; some of the virtual buttons placed on the back of the wrists can be a little awkward to press without accidentally knocking your Vive controllers together. Plus, the whole grab-and-drag interface doesn’t work as intuitively due to the somewhat compromised emulation of Touch controller functionality on the Vive inputs. I had some issues with the tutorial section of the app bugging out, but it wasn’t clear if this was cause by the Revive hack or the beta status of Facebook Spaces.
Considering Facebook’s software is in beta, and Revive hasn’t been optimised for this particular app, this is a promising start and should only improve from here. And one day, if Facebook plans to make VR truly social, we expect to see official support for the HTC Vive on Facebook Spaces.