Meta officially began rolling out a new login and profile system for their popular VR headsets this week. In a move that should resonate with users, Meta is retiring the previous system which required a Facebook or Instagram account in order to login. Users will have until January 31st, 2023 to use any existing login methods, at which time they will be disabled and a Meta account will be required. This move fixes one of the longstanding issues that many had with the Meta Quest devices and is a major win for consumers who don’t want to be forced to set up a social media account in order to enter the Metaverse.
How Does It Work?
If you’re new to Horizon Worlds or you’ve just purchased your first Meta device, the process is simple. Instead of utilizing Facebook or Instagram to log in to your new device, users will instead use their email to setup a new Meta account which will be tied to their Meta Horizon Profile. Your Meta account will be associated with your email address and some basic information like your name, email, phone number, payment information, and birthday. For those who still wish to use their Facebook or Instagram accounts, they will still be available to add to your Meta account once it’s set up. This will give you the benefit of quickly finding and adding friends from your social media accounts.
Meta Horizon Profiles
Your Meta Horizon Profile will serve as a sort of social profile for the Metaverse. While this currently only really includes Horizon Worlds, Meta may incorporate the new Meta accounts and profiles into future experiences. Your Meta Profile allows you to set a universal avatar, username, and profile photo, all pretty typical stuff in any modern online game. What’s new here is a privacy setting that will allow users to decide how much they would like to share as well as who has access. Initially, users will be able to choose from “Open to Everyone,” “Friends and Family,” and “Solo,” and will have the option to set their profile to private, giving them the ability to personally manage their followers.
While Meta hasn’t released any concrete details on their future plans for the Meta Horizon Profiles, their use of the term “Followers” alludes to a social media-like experience in the future. Considering this is coming from the company who owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, it would be shocking if they didn’t intend to capitalize on their vast experience in social media to create a similar experience in the Metaverse.
Is This a Good Thing?
For most users, this move should be a positive one. Decoupling your metaverse existence from your social media profile will allow for a little more privacy. The new privacy settings and focus on followers coupled with the ability to control how they can interact with your profile is also a good move to allow for better control over the experience. All in all, it appears Meta is listening to the feedback they’ve received and trying to make improvements to the current system. Whether you trust Meta or not (and most don’t), even small adjustments that allow for more security and privacy are a welcome change.
Will this drastically move the needle in Meta’s favor and gain the trust of the majority of users? Probably not, but for those who are already using Facebook and Instagram, they probably don’t care anyways…
What do you think? Does this make any difference in terms of how you view Meta? And would you trust a Meta account any more than a Facebook account? Let us know your thoughts!