Facebook’s acquisition of the Oculus Rift can potentially redefine the experience of social media. The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality system in the form of a headset, which has been thriving under developer support and the gaming community. Facebook hopes that this $2 billion purchase can change how people interact with one another online, not just by sharing moments with friends but entire experiences.
The virtual reality system that was originally supposed to capture immersive game sequences and hyper-realistic simulations adds an extra dimension to social media interactions. By simply putting on the Oculus Rift goggles at home, users can be immersed in social events that happen outside the home, such as a boxing match or classroom lecture. While the convenience of doing things at home might attract consumers, what would happen if these immersive social experiences that extend beyond talking and seeing one another became more common in virtual reality?
It seems proper that the Oculus Rift was originally intended to deepen the immersion in gaming, since gaming is a “break” from reality. Games act as mediums through which people escape from reality, and the Oculus Rift would make this escape more engaging. Facebook’s integration of these goggles can affect the understanding of both the virtual and social world, once people become more reliant on a tool to escape in order to engage. It’s not difficult to imagine a world people don’t engage with, since they may be too busy engaging with another one.