Facebook opens up Spaces for HTC Vive

Facebook has implemented a major change of strategy with regard to its VR Spaces app. The social media giant has surprised many by announcing that its VR chat app, which is still in beta and free, will support its biggest rivals: HTC Vive and SteamVR.

The announcement, made by a Facebook VR exec on 19 December, is a reverse of the message that Oculus has been giving out for over a year. The company had solidly maintained that all of its major games and apps would remain as exclusives to Oculus hardware.

There is currently no indication that Spaces will support the Playstation VR headset.

The move seems to indicate that in its stated drive to towards a billion VR users, Facebook is more concerned with insuring wider coverage of its services without focusing on trying to get everyone to use specific hardware.

Virtual interaction

Users of both HTC Vive and Oculus hardware only need to have a Facebook account to begin using the service.

Facebook Spaces allows users to interact with other users using cartoon-like avatars and play games, watch 360 content, enjoy photo tours and share 3D posts.

The platform has not received entirely favourable press since its launch, primarily due to Zuckerberg’s widely ridiculed ‘visit’ to hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico in October.

The company has also added an update that gives limited Windows desktop support to Spaces, which allows users to navigate as if they were using a mouse and utilise a virtual keyboard.  

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