Facebook Brings Livestreaming to Virtual Reality on Oculus Rift

Jul 12, 2017

Facebook is bringing livestreaming to virtual reality.

The social media giant said Wednesday that people can now share live video with each other using the Facebook Spaces virtual reality app. Facebook Spaces debuted in April and is the company’s first VR app built for the company’s Oculus Rift VR headset.

With the Spaces app, people can interact with other Oculus Rift users inside a virtual playground where they can chat, draw 3D animations, and frolic with digital avatars that resemble cartoonish versions of their real selves.

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Now, Spaces users will be able to broadcast their virtual reality sessions to outside users who don’t have the Oculus Rift. Spaces users will be able to see a live stream of comments from their friends watching them outside of the app from the core Facebook social networking service.

The new feature is another attempt by Facebook (fb) to popularize virtual reality. If people have the ability to watch virtual reality live streams from Oculus Rift users, they may be more inclined to purchase the headset and play with others in VR if the live streams are compelling enough.

Earlier this week, Facebook dropped the price of its Oculus Rift headset to $400 as part of a temporary summer sale intended to boost sales. Although Facebook doesn’t release sales statistics of the Rift, several analyst firms estimate that competing VR headsets sold by Sony and HTC appear to be outselling the Rift.

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