Meta headsets no longer require a Facebook account starting today.
The update “will roll out globally on a gradual basis, so if you don’t have the option to create a Meta account and Meta Horizon profile right away, you’ll get the update soon”, an Oculus blog post explains.
The new Meta accounts can be used to set up new headsets or on existing headsets instead of Facebook. You’ll still be able to link your Facebook account to your Meta account to message and call Facebook friends from inside VR, but this is no longer required. If your Facebook is currently linked to your Quest, you can unlink it when you set up your Meta account.
Your Meta account itself is just for signing in, it isn’t a social media profile. But you still need to set up a ‘Meta Horizon’ VR social profile, formerly known as your Oculus profile. As with current Oculus profiles (or other platforms like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network) you have a username, profile name, profile photo, and avatar.
Your Meta Horizon profile is visible to others in VR apps and when searching for you in the Oculus app or Quest social menu, but you can customize who exactly can see your activity status, showing whether you’re online and the app you’re currently using.
These changes come less than two years after the company imposed the requirement of a Facebook account in good standing for its headsets, starting with the release of Quest 2 in October 2020. Tying the use of a hardware device to the standing of a social media profile was a widely unpopular decision, and even left some users with a paperweight.
At Connect 2021 in October, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced: “frankly as we’ve heard your feedback more broadly, we’re working on making it so you can login into Quest with an account other than your personal Facebook account”. Ten months later, Meta is delivering on that promise.