Facebook Begins User Testing of New ‘Horizon’ VR Social Platform

Facebook sees VR as the future of social media interaction, a future that Facebook wants to own in order to maintain is position on top of the social heap.

And its working to do just that – after recently acquiring several top VR game developers[1] an integrating them into its growing Oculus VR division, The Social Network has this week started sending out invites[2] to beta testers for its new social VR app ‘Horizons’ where users will interact in the virtual world.

As you can see in the video, Facebook Horizon[3], is a cartoonish VR world where users will be able to establish a presence, and connect with others virtually.

As per Facebook’s initial announcement[4] of Horizon:

Before stepping into Horizon for the first time, people will design their own avatars from an array of style and body options to ensure everyone can fully express their individuality. From there, magic-like portals – called telepods – will transport people from public spaces to new worlds filled with adventure and exploration. At first, people will hop into games and experiences built by Facebook, like Wing Strikers, a multiplayer aerial experience.”

According to Upload VR[5], Facebook is now inviting selected people to participate in the closed alpha for Horizon. 

“A Reddit user posted a screenshot of an email they received from Facebook inviting them to an alpha for Facebook Horizon. The cut-off period to accept the invitation was last Friday, with the alpha beginning later this month. Facebook also noted that that participation in the alpha will require users to sign an NDA, as the alpha version of Horizon “is an early form and [Facebook] will keep making product improvements over the course of the month.”

Horizon is the successor to Facebook’s first VR social space, called ‘Spaces[6]‘, and looks set to provide a more immersive, engaging environment from which people will be able to begin their VR experiences.

The launch of beta testing for Horizon is another indicator of VR’s growing momentum. Various projections suggest that VR adoption will rise steadily in the coming years, but more recent moves suggest that it may ramp up quicker than some expect.[7]

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