Oculus announces new social features to help personalize VR experiences

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If Oculus has its way, the virtual reality space may grow to be the next major social space for far-flung friends to dive in and hang out.

Starting tomorrow, users on the Gear VR platform will be able to create their own user profiles and search for friends by username who they can interact with in virtual space.

The company announced in a blog post an effort (very similar-sounding to one from AltspaceVR) called Social Trivia, which will allow you to hang out with buddies’ avatars in a social space and compete in trivia battles. Users will also be able to create VR chatrooms of sorts with Oculus Social where they can watch videos together from Vimeo or Twitch.

It was just a couple of weeks ago that Facebook (parent-company of Oculus) CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed the work that the company was putting forth on social VR and the potential he saw for interactions in the virtual space.

“…pretty soon we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you’re just there right there in person,” Zuckerberg told an audience strapped into VR headsets at last month’s Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event.

Alongside this launch, Oculus announced a new multiplayer game that makes use of some of these new social features.

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Herobound: Gladiators, the multiplayer adventure game, is now available on the Oculus Store. Band together with up to four people to conquer goblins and demons in arena battlefields. Use integrated voice chat to talk and strategize in real time for co-op action.

It wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the post how these features will translate to Oculus’s Rift product launching later this month, but users can undoubtedly expect to see interactions taking advantage of Oculus’s access to both high-end and mobile VR.

With Samsung’s latest deal to get Gear VR in the hands of more consumers, the importance of social VR will only grow more critical in connecting existing users of the mobile VR headset.

Additionally as the quantity of content in the Oculus Store increases, the need for user reviews beyond 5-star rating system has become more apparent. Today, Oculus introduced written user reviews. Not only is this a great way to leave feedback for other users, it also increases dialogue between users and developers on what VR consumers are desiring.

The company also detailed that later this month they’ll be releasing developer tools to “make it even easier to create more incredible social VR games and apps.”