Kristin Crist, of San Jose, tries out Facebook Spaces at Oculus Connect 4 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. (Gary Reyes/ Bay Area News Group)

SAN JOSE — Facebook changed the way people communicate, allowing them to quickly share their thoughts, photos and other memories with friends and families through a click of a blue button.

Kristin Crist, of San Jose, tries out Facebook Spaces at Oculus Connect 4 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. (Gary Reyes/ Bay Area News Group)

But as the tech firm tries to get 1 billion people into virtual reality, it’s also trying to transform how we socialize online by making it feel like we’re physically next to our loved ones.

The company started testing a way to use Facebook in virtual reality this year. Called Facebook Spaces, it allows users who have a virtual reality headset to explore new places, play games, draw, make calls, film live videos and even take selfies in a virtual world through an avatar.

Users are able to post the memories they make in the virtual world to their Facebook feeds. They can fish, play with dice or even watch an animated film by putting on an Oculus Rift headset.

“Maybe I’m in a long-distance relationship and I just want to feel like I’m in the same room with my loved one,” said Rachel Franklin, who heads Facebook’s social VR team, in an interview. “Will this open up the ability to connect with someone?”

The company sees virtual reality as a new avenue of communication, but it acknowledges that it’s still learning from how people are socializing in virtual reality. The tech firm will be adding more activities to Facebook Spaces later this year, including watching live, 360-degree videos. Users will also be able to share 3-D sculptures they finish in virtual reality onto their News Feed.

But most people still don’t own a virtual reality headset, a hurdle that …read more

Source:: East Bay – Business

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