Oculus announced the first platform update for 2019 that includes two new social features: The first is the ability to broadcast VR to Facebook Live, and the second is a Public Homes beta allowing anyone to join your social space on VR.
Two new “social features” are now available to users in the Rift Public Test Channel but will be rolling out to all users later in the month. The first is a new personal space in VR called Public Homes. The feature, currently in beta, is explained in a recent Oculus blog post as “a new way to open your Home to visitors and the best way to explore unique Homes from the broader Rift community.” Public Homes turns Oculus Home into something more than just a fun social hub but also a destination to meet and mingle with others in the community.
The feature also allows users to “show off collected loot and interior design prowess,” but also gives you the opportunity to socialise and make new friends. Oculus will help you find Homes to visit by recommending a few first. If you would like to open your Home to visitors all you have to do is set it to “Public.” Doing so will also give your Home the chance to appear in a rotating list of recommended Homes for other users to explore.
You can also see a collection of Homes that are available under “Places,” each of them “packed with custom items and unique layouts.” This is the easiest way to find new people who share your interests or to get decorating tips straight from the community. It’s like walking into someone’s real-life home. If you’re worried about privacy, the feature comes with tools to ensure both that and your safety.
As a host, you will be able to accept or deny any request from users who want to view your Home, and you can also disable to “Public” option whenever you want.
Abusive behaviour can also be reported, and visitors muted, right from within the Rift headset. To join in the beta, you need to opt into the Public Test Channel and make your Home “Public” within the Home menu.
The second feature in this update is the ability to broadcast to Facebook Live through Oculus Rift, sharing your VR experiences with your friends, family, and the world. Simply select the “Livestream to Facebook” button in the Dash Menu when you’re in VR, and you can start livestreaming exactly what you see in your headset. Facebook notes that developers “can opt in or out of this feature,” so it may not be available on all apps.
For the time being, Echo VR, VR Sports Challenge, and Dead & Buried are some of the apps that have the functionality built in.
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