Meta, formerly Facebook, has officially rolled out what it’s calling Meta accounts and Meta Horizon Profiles. The global launch will be gradual, but both “accounts” are to be used in place of the personal social media account logins — Facebook and Instagram — once used to log in to the company’s virtual reality (VR) system.
Users, new and old, of Meta’s VR devices, will be required to sign up for a Meta account to log in and access the metaverse. The company is ditching the old way of logging on after complaints around privacy concerns arose regarding using personal social media accounts.
However, the company is still allowing users to use Facebook and Instagram accounts to create a Meta account, the company said. If a person chooses to create their Meta account via their social media accounts they’ll be connected in the Accounts Center, the central hub for connected experiences across Meta.
Although the company is encouraging users to connect via a Meta account, those using an Oculus login will be allowed to continue to log in this way until January 1, 2023.
As consumers transfer over, the company claims it will “still have access to all of your previous VR purchases and downloads.”
Though there is no need to connect Meta-run social media accounts, the company is still presenting it as an option. The company claims the connection will allow for greater experiences in the metaverse such as livestream sharing, messaging and finding followers faster.
To even begin the process of creating a Meta account one must have the latest software on the Oculus app and VR headset.
In addition to the Meta account, a “Meta Horizon Profile” will replace the once-used Oculus account. The profile will be the home for all things avatar-based and be considered the social media for the metaverse. The company once used the term “Friends” in the Metaverse but will now consider them “Followers” — giving the Horizon World platform an Instagram feel.
As privacy continues to be a pressing issue for the tech giant, Meta accounts will provide three options for users — “Open to Everyone,” “Friends and Family” and “Solo” — all of which have different implications on who can connect and see one’s account. If a user chose to skip privacy setup, they will be defaulted to “Friends and Family.” Users will also have the option to set their Horizon profile as private, which requires users to accept follow requests.
Minors ages 13 through 17 will have their accounts set to private by default.
For now, the accounts are only linked to VR-related logins, but that’s not to say Meta won’t expand this feature in the future.