While the biggest news from the Facebook Connect livestream was Facebook’s rebranding to Meta (which I refuse to use), the social media company also announced that Oculus Quest VR headsets will no longer require a Facebook account.
“As we’ve focused more on work, and frankly, as we’ve heard your feedback more broadly, we’re working on making it so that you can log into Quest with an account other than your personal Facebook account,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in his keynote speech. “We’re starting to test support for work accounts soon.”
In October 2020, all new Oculus Quest users were forced to maintain a Facebook account to use their devices. This meant deleting your Facebook account would also wipe any in-game achievements or purchases that you made on the device. Older Oculus accounts needed to link to a Facebook account by 2023. Facebook’s new policy will override this change.
If you already have an Oculus Quest, you can be free to eventually delete this child-harming, democracy-destroying social media account without losing access to the content that you’ve paid for! Good riddance. It’s not certain when these changes will take place, so I’d hold onto your account for now.
This is a major concession in the midst of the company’s ongoing crisis of losing young users on Facebook and Instagram. According to Facebook’s chief product officer Chris Cox, young people “have a wide range of negative associations with Facebook including privacy concerns [and] impact to their wellbeing.”
Incidentally, not having to link your Oculus devices to a Facebook account might have helped when the company experienced a major service outage just earlier this month. While offline games were functional, users couldn’t access the Oculus store or play any games that were dependent on Facebook’s servers. Let’s just hope that these work accounts are less susceptible to server-wide collapse.