Facebook is launching a new social media app where users can create virtual worlds to explore and hang out with friends.
At the sixth annual Oculus Connect event held on Wednesday, Sept. 26, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Horizon, a social app that will be available to owners of Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift.
The Future Of Social Media
In Horizon, users can create and customize their own legless avatars they will use to explore and mingle with other people within the ever-expanding virtual universe. They can hang out at a town plaza setting and meet friends or jump into portals (they call telepods) to new places where they can play games and build communities.
At first, users will only be able to access games and experiences developed by Facebook. However, as users create their own spaces, more telepods will appear to provide more virtual worlds to explore.
"VR is already a great place to hang out with friends, play games, and watch movies. It's also a fantastic way to learn new skills and explore our world," reads a press release from Facebook. "Human curiosity and connection are central to each of these experiences, and they're also at the heart of Horizon."
Anyone can create their own virtual spaces and customize them according to their interests and personalities. Facebook said that the app will have "intuitive building tools" that would be easy to use, even to those who do not know how to code.
"Horizon will ensure a welcoming environment through new safety tools and human guides - Horizon Locals - to answer questions and provide assistance, if needed," added Facebook.
Facebook's Horizon will launch by early next year. However, those who are interested can test out the virtual social network by signing up to the beta.
Facebook Shutting Down Facebook Spaces, Oculus Room
Horizon, of course, is not Facebook's first social app for virtual reality. In 2017, the company unveiled Facebook Spaces which allowed users to hang out with friends in a virtual park and other settings.
However, before the arrival of Horizon, Facebook announced that it will shut down Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms by Oct. 25 to focus all efforts into the launch of the new app.