Despite the name change and metaverse hyperbole, Facebook has always been at the center of the Meta software suite for users engaged in its wider ecosystem. While that could remain the case indefinitely, it’s clear that the company is taking steps to ensure that the next batch of users isn’t tied to a network that may still be paying the bills, but not where the company sees its reinvention.
Next month, the company will introduce a new type of login called a Meta Account, which will allow users to use products that previously may have required a Facebook account. At launch, users will be able to use their Meta account to sign up for and log into the company’s Quest hardware, functionality that will be coming to other Meta devices in the future, the company says. Users can choose to link their Meta account to their Facebook and Instagram accounts as well, or not. Unlike Facebook accounts, users are free to have multiple Meta accounts, the company says.
This change addresses the concerns of some VR users who complained about various quirks of relying on a private social media login to play video games. While many users were concerned about the privacy implications, others were frustrated by more organizational issues related to combining the two accounts with separate friend lists, settings, and rules.
Early next year, Meta accounts will become the default login for VR users.
With the new system, VR users will have the option to sign up for a Meta account and a “Meta Horizon Profile”, which will replace the Oculus account and be a home for things like the user’s avatar and username. , which they will use all over the world. Quest ecosystem. The most interesting thing about this change is that Meta goes from a “Friends” to a “Followers” model with the Horizon profile, it says, which more tactically means that the user account system makes a transition from private to public by default – although it It’s worth noting that new Meta accounts for minors ages 13 to 17 are still private by default.
This is a huge change as the company evolves its metaverse dream and shows a broader opportunity for Meta to reframe its social graph to enable more social opportunities. Meta’s efforts to bring TikTok-like functionality to Facebook and more amateur creators have been hampered by a predominantly private account network. If the company can get new users to choose public by default from the get-go, then over time the company will have much wider options in the content they offer.
For now, the scope of Meta accounts seems limited to VR logins, but it’s clear that the company is more interested in removing Facebook from the center of its user-centric world.