Social VR, Facebook Horizon And The Future Of Social Media Marketing

Peeking Into A New Horizon

Sneak peeks of Horizon screenshots are flooding social media. Facebook dropped the gameplay trailer for Facebook Horizon after months of anticipation. The trailer shows avatars playing games in Horizon, building their own worlds, and having fun with other avatars. Facebook Horizon’s beta access is currently invite-only[5]

Facebook has been one of the flagship companies for building VR headsets and promoting social virtual reality. The company bought Oculus in 2014, and since then, they’ve released a variety of headsets from the tethered Oculus Rift to the standalone Oculus Quest. For them, virtual reality isn’t just another way to get people to use Facebook. They see it as the next computing platform[6] that will “help people feel more present with each other, even when we’re apart” – whether at work or at play.

Let’s Meet In Social VR

As the pandemic continues to affect our society and the way people socialize, social VR apps and experiences like Horizon can give people a place to gather, play, and create as they may have in real life. Social VR offers those types of interactions in one place – one where users are already connected to their friends who have a compatible VR device.

Facebook Horizon may create a shift in what “social media” means. Instead of consuming articles or reading friend’s updates, Horizon offers a different type of online social interaction. Gameplay or world-building takes some of the strain out of being social that feeds creation.

Social VR & Marketing

So what do social VR and spatial presence have to do with the future of social media marketing? Well, everything. 

Facebook defines virtual, social presence[7] as “authentic and lifelike collaboration between people and colleagues in a virtual setting…” It’s where anyone can manipulate objects, use their hands, and have a sense of touch. Avatars display the same expressions as their human counterparts. Spatial presence includes audio, where the closer you move to a noise the louder it gets. Horizon provides marketing opportunities in three areas: representation, play, and world-building.

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