Oculus makes virtual reality more social, adds new Facebook-connected features

Oculus gets social thanks to its parent-company Facebook.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

Facebook-owned Oculus announced new social and video features for its virtual reality platform, that beginning on Thursday, will work with the Samsung Gear VR (powered by Oculus).

The new set of features will allow users to create a profile, search for friends, and rank VR apps on the Oculus Store. Users can then team up with friends or compete with them for trivia and multiplayer games -- similar to Xbox Live and PlayStation network.

Given the Facebook influence on Oculus, the VR company will also allow users to connect their Facebook account with Oculus Video to personalize a 360 video feed based on the pages and people followed. In the future, users will be able to like, share and react to Facebook 360 videos from an Oculus-powered headset.

Oculus Social will enable users to watch Twitch or Vimeo streams from a private "room".

Facebook is placing big bets on VR, building a social team around the new technology.

"VR is going to be the most social platform," Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, said during Samsung's Galaxy S7 event in early-March. "Facebook with Oculus are committed to this for the long term. We've recently created new teams at Facebook to build the next generation of social apps and VR."

On Wednesday, Oculus also teased new developer tools are coming.

Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion in mid-2014, plans to release a name-brand headset this month.

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