So how does it work?
With an Oculus VR headset and Touch controllers, Facebook Spaces allows you to:
– Hang out in VR with up to 4 real-life friends (as 3D avatars)
– View and share 360-degree photos and videos
– Check out 2D Facebook content within virtual windows
– Draw 3D doodles
– Take avatar selfies using a VR selfie stick
And, for the near future, that’s basically it. In its current form, Spaces is a long way off from the Second Life-like experience many envisioned. In fact, it even falls short of existing VR software like Oculus Rooms, which incorporates gaming and 3rd party apps to a much greater extent.
As a tech demo however, it accomplishes its goal of providing a proof of concept for social-first VR and it has engaged the curiosity of the F8 audience about what VR may become 5-10 years down the road. It also hints at how Facebook plans to go after Gen Z, a generation that values things like real-time interaction, collaboration and gamification as part of the social networking experience – the very features platforms like Twitch and Live.ly have mastered with teens.
Why should brands care?
For marketers, there may be PR value in becoming a first-mover within Spaces. We can expect branded stickers, 3D objects, 360-degree content and more to start rolling out in the coming years. And for those who aren’t patient enough for Facebook to productize it, brands can publish their 360-degree photos and videos on Facebook now in the hopes that users will choose to view it within the Spaces experience.