Oculus today announced that it’s rolling out a small but welcomed change to Quest’s voice commands feature: the ability to activate it with a wake phrase—”Hey Facebook.”

Quest got voice commands last year, allowing users to double-tap the Oculus button on their controller to then say phrases for quick and useful navigation, like launching apps, browsing the store, or taking a screenshot. When using the headset with controllerless hand-tracking, however, the only way to activate voice commands was to open the Quest menu, navigate to settings, and click the voice commands button—somewhat defeating the purpose of quickly navigating the headset with your voice.

Today Oculus announced it’s adding a wake phrase to Quest’s voice commands, making it easy to get the headset to listen whether you are using controllers or hand-tracking. But the company settled on a seemingly odd choice: “Hey Facebook.”

Obviously Facebook is Oculus’ parent company, but it seems a little strange to refer to the headset by the name of the social media company, especially considering its poor reputation on privacy and widely criticized move to require Facebook accounts to use Oculus headsets after promising it wouldn’t. “Hey Oculus” or “Hey Quest” seems much more intuitive, and comes with less baggage.

The move happened alongside the company also adding “Hey Facebook” as a wake phrase for its Portal smart displays, which helps explain the company’s thinking.

Facebook likely wants consistency between voice commands on any of its voice-activated devices to create a more cohesive perception of Facebook’s wider business activities which have grown well beyond a mere social media network media. The company may also be readying its own competitor to the likes of Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortona (currently Quest voice commands are limited to navigation and fall short of ‘digital assistant’).

10 Years Ago Zuckerberg Bought Oculus to Outmaneuver Apple, Will He Succeed?

Practically speaking, “Hey Oculus” or “Hey Quest” is not only more intuitive, but may also be more practical… if a user has both a Portal and an a Quest headset, how will they avoid activating Portal with “Hey Facebook” while trying to talk to Quest? This seems like it would be problematic, at least until the devices have awareness of one another.

Oculus says the “Hey Facebook” wake phrase is rolling out gradually to Quest 2 headsets as an experimental feature; in due time the company plans to deploy it to the original Quest as well, and eventually move it from an experimental feature to a default option. The company maintains that the wake phrase will be an opt-in feature, and that Quest doesn’t listen for “Hey Facebook” when it’s asleep or powered off.

Newsletter graphic

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information.

Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Warp

    As if “Hey Google” wasn’t bad enough! I tolerate Facebook’s role in Oculus because I currently have no choice if I want to use this technology, but “Hey Facebook” is a phrase I will never utter out loud.

    • Graham J ⭐️


      • Loretta Osborne

        Get $192 p/h from Google!…(a2616) Yes this is best since I just got my first paycheck of $24413 and this was just of a one week… I have also purchased my McLaren Speedtail right after this payment…(a2616) it is really cool job I have ever had and you won’t forgive yourself if you do not check it >>>> Joinbiz.com ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤..

      • Maggie Hoyle

        Get $192 p/h from Google!…(a534) Yes this is best since I just got my first paycheck of $24413 and this was just of a one week… I have also purchased my McLaren Speedtail right after this payment…(a534) it is really cool job I have ever had and you won’t forgive yourself if you do not check it >>>> http://www.lifestyleslinks.com ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤…

    • Ad

      “Tolerate Facebook.” That’s not really what you’re doing, oculus doesn’t exist. At least this reminds people.

      • Warp

        Tolerate is exactly what it is, because if a competitor came out with a headset of equal or better quality without the Facebook strings attached I would switch companies in a second.

        • Ad

          That’s a lie. A rationally priced headset would come out and you wouldn’t buy it because the price would be too high. If you’re willing to go with Zuck and sing its praises then you’ll always find an excuse to stick with him. Either way, no serious competition can get enough momentum because of how anti competitive facebook is.

          • Warp

            Wow! You know me so well, complete stranger on the internet! Your in-depth knowledge of my mind and financial situation has completely changed my position! All praise the Zuck! Or you know… maybe you’re just an arrogant troll.

          • Ad

            Go on other platforms like r/oculus and they consistently say they tolerate facebook but “no one will compete with the same features and price.” How is that just “tolerating” facebook when the whole point is how facebook can underprice their hardware?

          • Warp

            So you’ve seen other people say things somewhere and that must mean I’m a liar? The amount of assumptions and generalisations you made to conclude of my comment “That is a lie” and state so as fact are quite remarkable.

            As to your point, a lack of affordable competition does not change the definition of the word tolerate. If someone dislikes Facebook but really wants to have a decent VR
            headset and the Quest is the only way they can afford to do so (or any other reason they might have that is valid to them for that matter), then
            they are by definition tolerating Facebook in order to do that.

            You might do well not jump to conclusions about people you’ve never met or even interacted with before insulting them. Perhaps then you wouldn’t feel the need to have the phrase “Deal with it” front and center in your profile.

  • Back in Oculus Home 1.0 on pc they HAD voice commands that used “Hey Oculus”! Can’t believe they changed it, that sucks.

  • xyzs

    “Hey Facebook, go on Craigslist dot com, I am tired of this complete bs, I put my quest 2 for sale”

  • Graham J ⭐️

    Facebook can pry my voiceprint from my cold, dead mouth.

  • alxslr

    Heil Facebook

  • Ad

    This is pure poison, so I hope they keep it the way it is. lol

  • TechPassion

    Stop crying. You say hey Mercedes, hey Google, so you can say hey FaceBook, especially after getting device worth 500 EUR for 300 EUR.

    • Warp

      “Hey Quest” would be a far better alternative. I don’t think you appreciate the negative connotations Facebook has for many people. I hate saying “Hey Google” as well, which is the main reason I use an Echo Dot over a Google home. With that I at least get to get to say “Echo” or can even select just “Computer”. I should not have to invoke the name of a bile inducing social platform to command my VR headset.

  • CarlosTSG

    Hey Facef#ck delete my account.

  • I can imagine people saying very cute things after “Hey Facebook”…