Lots of people, or #foreveralone?

With Facebook Spaces, all your 360 content is now in VR

But is that a good thing?

First impressions about Facebook Spaces (Beta) for Oculus Rift:

TL;DR: Facebook Spaces, the recently released virtual reality app for Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, is basically a bit like AltspaceVR, but with Facebook bolted on.

That is to say, you get to go to a “space” where you and your Facebook friends can hang out in virtual reality as avatars. The space is a virtual table where you can share photos and videos and can chat and play with friends who are logged in to Oculus at the same time. You can draw in 3D and take virtual selfies (which I will never ever call “vrelfies,” so don’t even). To display your photos and videos, you drag them to the center of the table. If they’re in 360, they’re spheres, and when you drop them in the middle of the table, they surround you.

For those who don’t have an Oculus (aka most people), there is an option to hang out via Messenger video call. From my limited experience, this currently means you’re going to be mostly hanging out by yourself. This is an interesting contrast to AltspaceVR or Rec Room, where everyone has a VR device, but they’re strangers. #foreveralone

CONTENT: All your 360 photos and 360 videos will work in VR in Spaces, but this means image and movement quality is now an issue for those who would experience content in this app. For example, that awesome “Star Wars” racer video from a while back doesn’t look good when you watch it inside Spaces.

LIVE: 360 videos streamed live to Facebook’s recently released Live 360 platform don’t work in VR in Spaces. And since quality is lowered for a live feed, these videos just aren’t compatible with Spaces and won’t be for the foreseeable future. The app tries to render them into a cube, but it doesn’t know how to place the video in the six panels. Even if this problem is fixed, I don’t see Live 360 videos working properly until Spaces can support them in at least 2K, and that would work only if you had a strong data or wireless connection. It should be noted that the app is still in beta, but still.

SEARCH: You basically have to save a bunch of 360 videos and photos within Facebook if you’d like to be able to find them in Spaces (big publishers are listed in a Discover tab *shakes fist at cloud*). Your profile stuff is there. I manage some pages with 360 content and could not get to the photos and videos. I expect this to get fixed with future updates.

JOURNALISM AND OTHER USES: I can certainly see groups with common interests having a “meetup” in such a space that could be streamed out with Open Broadcaster Software for a larger audience. This would, again, be a bit like AltspaceVR. Topics would have to be at the lifestyle or fun end of the news spectrum, as it could be awkward for a cartoon journalist to interview a source.

Also, I can’t find a ’stache for my avi.

Originally published at dailyfreeman.blogspot.com.