It's a possibility Oculus owners have had in the back of their minds since Facebook acquired the company in 2014, and it's now finally happening. Oculus will soon require all of its users to log in with a Facebook account.
In October, the company will start prompting device owners to merge their Oculus and Facebook accounts. If you want to continue using your existing Oculus account, you can do so through to January 1st, 2023. At that point, your headset will still work, but Facebook warns some games and apps may not.
Moving forward, you'll also need a Facebook login to use all forthcoming Oculus devices, even if you have an existing Oculus account. Recent reports suggest Facebook will announce a new version of its popular Oculus Quest headset in September. Given the company's new policy, that device will likely only work with a Facebook account.
Facebook contends the move will be beneficial to Oculus users for several reasons. The first of which is that the company says it will make it easier for those individuals to find and connect with their friends. It will also allow Facebook to integrate features like Horizon, the social VR world the company announced in 2019. Perhaps most importantly, the company claims the policy will enable it to give users a more consistent way to report trolls and other bad actors. "Using a VR profile that is backed by a Facebook account and authentic identity helps us protect our community and makes it possible to offer additional integrity tools," the company said.
For those who want to keep their Facebook and VR friends separate, that's something you'll be able to do, even once you've merged your accounts. You also won't have to share your real name with any people you meet through any Oculus games you play.
As you can imagine, some Oculus owners aren't happy about the announcement. The blog post in which Facebook detailed the policy change already has its share of comments with colorful language. In a way, however, the writing has been on the wall for a while. Last year, Oculus introduced new social features that you could only access through a Facebook account. The social media giant also started using data it had gathered from Oculus headsets in ads.