Facebook introduced its latest social platform at its Oculus Connect 6 developer conference today. Horizon is a shared VR world for Oculus Quest and Rift that is coming in 2020. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said that the company is building Horizon using its experience with traditional social platforms like Instagram and previous VR communities.
Horizon is more than just an immersive 3D chatroom. While you can meet up with friends and strangers in Horizon’s town square, you can also create your own spaces, games, and communities to connect to that hub.
To get started, all you need to do is create your avatar. But then you can begin jumping through teleporters to get to the different experiences that other Horizon players create. Then, if you choose, you can use the World Builder tool to make things yourself.
“You don’t even need to know how to code to create with World Builder,” Zuckerberg said during an onstage presentation. “Now you’re going to be able to do it with that added feeling of presence that no other technology platfrom offers. We’re putting the finishing touches on it now.”
Facebook Horizon sounds a lot like the popular online game Roblox. That platform enables players — usually kids and teenagers — to explore a variety of social spaces that other people create. Roblox is massively successful. It had more than 90 million monthly active players as of April, and that grew to 100 million by August.
— Oculus (@oculus) September 25, 2019
Horizon is replacing older Facebook social VR efforts
You may remember that this isn’t the first time Facebook has launched a social VR experience at Oculus Connect. The company has had Oculus Rooms and Facebook Spaces since 2017. But this isn’t Facebook spreading itself thin. The company is closing those older platforms in favor of Horizon going forward.
“As we focus our efforts on launching Facebook Horizon in 2020, we’ll be closing down Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms on October 25,” reads an Oculus blog post. “We’re grateful to each and every one of you who joined us in those experiences and have followed us on this journey—and we look forward to having you join us in Facebook Horizon in 2020.”
Horizon is going to launch into beta early in 2020. You can sign up to get notified about registration for that test on the company’s website.