Our Quick Take on Facebook Spaces
Earlier today Facebook announced their newest Virtual Reality platform, Facebook Spaces. Facebook basically wants people to create virtual avatars of themselves and you can then interact with your friends using your avatars in a VR world called “Facebook Spaces”. In this space you can do art, play games, show 360 content, and a bunch of other stuff. We managed to give it a try at the demo booths at Facebook F8 here in San Jose, California, and while the experience was mesmerizing, we feel that it won’t gain traction as it’s really meant more for VR enthusiasts than your average non-techie Facebook user.
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The biggest reason why this won’t fly? You need to buy an Oculus Rift. That’s crazy expensive (anywhere from Php20,000-Php40,000 depending where you buy and how you get them to the Philippines). That alone kills like 99.9% of the total addressable non-VR enthusiast market.
Apart from that, the VR experience isn’t that intuitive yet. We tried it ourselves and we needed assistance from the Facebook staff just to create our avatar and eventually create and use the interactive tools on Facebook Spaces. It was too clunky and wasn’t easy and therefore was not that enjoyable.
Watching other people try it out, we could tell that they weren’t having an easy time as well. The learning curve is a bit steep and unless there’s a solid reason apart for novelty to use this tech, it doesn’t stand a chance of booming given the expensive buy-in with the needed gear.
We can see Facebook Spaces gaining more traction if the devices needed for this are much lower. The Oculus Rift is too expensive for now and until the prices of VR gear needed for this goes down to around $100, it will most likely remain a niche product for passionate and hardcore VR enthusiasts.