Needless to say, the Facebook 2021 Connect keynote was both weird and outrageous. It was an hour-long hypnotizing act where Facebook tried to convince customers that it isn’t Facebook anymore—the company even changed its name to Meta! But tucked within all the nonsense came a few things to look forward to, especially if you’re an Oculus user.
Remember when the Oculus Quest began requiring users to log in with a Facebook account? Yeah, that’s coming to an end next year. In an interview with Stratechery, Mark Zuckerberg explained that the sustained backlash to these account requirements was a leading factor in Facebook’s rebranding to Meta. It seems that Facebook (or Meta, whatever) only recently realized how people feel about its brand.
We aren’t sure how Facebook will implement this change. But it will supposedly rebrand Oculus Quest with the name Meta Quest. Knowing that, we expect the company to offer dedicated “Meta” accounts for its headsets (and maybe its smart home and wearable products).
As we’ve focused more on work, and as we’ve heard feedback from the VR community more broadly, we’re working on new ways to log into Quest that won’t require a Facebook account, landing sometime next year. This is one of our highest priority areas of work internally.
But as clarified by Andrew Bosworth, Quest users will gain the option to delete or disconnect from their Facebook account without losing all the apps they’ve downloaded. Previously, you would lose any apps you downloaded or purchased on Quest if you lost or unlinked your Facebook account.
Zuckerberg also announced some changes to the Quest sideloading process. He promises that Quest users will gain the ability to sideload VR apps from outside Meta’s official store without any weird workarounds. Ideally, this means that Meta will offer third-party app stores within its Meta store, but I have a feeling that Meta is simply removing login requirements for sideloading.
In the grand scheme of things, these changes only exist to separate Meta Quest headsets from the Facebook brand. They may improve your experience with VR, but they won’t keep Meta from collecting your personal data. Keep that in mind as the Oculus Quest slowly morphs into Meta Quest.