What excites us the most about VR is this trip to wonderland. That’s what VR is all about. [music] This is going to be the next computing platform. Welcome to the world of social VR! Where there’s no such thing as long distance, the workplace is virtual, and the idea of a meetup probably involves avatars. For a while now, Facebook’s Oculus Connect has been trying to build a future in which social media lives in VR. And people build virtual communities around learning things, watching movies, and playing games. We build a lot of the best social experiences for phones, and for computers, and we want to build this for virtual reality as well. Ask any Oculus Connect attendees and they’ll likely tell you that VR is meant to defy distance. When your best friend lives in another hemisphere, with VR, you can feel like you’re there. That’s the good side of building communities in VR. That, and the fact that if the market for VR grows enough, it also creates another platform for marketers to build new communities for their audiences. But at the same time, could it backfire? Can building this life and world in VR only lead to feelings of isolation? Or is it possible to truly build a community in VR, by creating a unique experience on there for your audience? Well, we came to Oculus Connect to find out. [music] We’ve been asking a question today, which is: Is it possible to really build a community in VR? What is your take on that? So, we think that people already have communities, they’re connected to each other on instant messenger, or on Discord, Slack at work. And so, a lot of what we want to do today, in order to make VR companies be successful, is connect VR into the communities that they’re already in. There’s a lot of technology involved to getting these 3D images onto your retinas. But then that’s just the foundation, and then above that you have to have these experiences, these VR experiences. And the most compelling responses that you have, emotionally, are from interacting with other people. So in VR what we’ve got is this wonderful opportunity to create the actions that you can take with your friends, to bond with them, to celebrate that friendship, to explore that friendship, and of course, just to horse around and have a good time. People want all kinds of social activities in VR, just like in the physical world. They want a place that enables endless exploration and empowers communities. That’s why we’re building Facebook Horizon. It’s the start of an entirely new social VR world for Oculus Quest and Rift. I mean we already see people who have an existing meetup group, who meet up in person physically once a month, but then meet up in VR, in hubs, a couple of other times a month, because it’s hard to get people together. We also see people building more communities that are distributed so where people have to travel. So academic conferences are a really big case where we’re seeing a lot of uptake in these communities. They wanna come together regularly and discuss the work that they’ve been doing in these spaces, and how can we help them do that virtually sometimes simultaneously with the larger meetups that they’re a part of, and sometimes asynchroniously. The environment of the workplace is already changing all the time. And that means that a lot more employees are also going remote. But what does that mean for building a community or rapport in your workplace? Can VR play a part there? Imagine what it would mean if you could work remotely as effectively as in person. Or, someday, even more effectively, because you have collaboration tools in the virtual world that could never exist in the real world. From the first day I started working here, all I could think of is how we could harness this technology for work. With VR, employees build empathy for each other and their customers. They strengthen the company’s culture, and they become high-performing teams. So tell me a little bit about the work that you do in VR. Sure, I have an education VR company and we provide inclusive VR field trips for kids, and then we also get kids interested in becoming content creators for VR. When you see them getting curious about creating things in VR, what are some of the patterns that you’re seeing? Are you seeing any social elements in it? We’re seeing some social elements, but the thing that we see the most with these kids, is we have to constantly reaffirm that they belong here. And then they have to learn new rules to be digital citizens in these VR spaces, and without — you know, these kids are digital natives, their parents are not. So they don’t get a lot of that guidance they need, and it comes down to a lot of other people, their teachers, their tech teachers, they kind of teach them on the way they should be behaving, and what’s acceptable and not, in these digital spaces. And then we’re all still figuring it out as a VR community as a whole as well. So, to answer the question: Can you really build a community in VR? Probably. And Oculus is certainly trying to get us there. But, like with any new technology, there’s certainly a learning curve, and rules to figure out. But as the rules for the new VR world are written, and probably rewritten, it’s certainly something pay attention to, as the tools are already there to start finding your audience. So if you want to get ahead of the curve, and get real, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to dip your toes into this virtual pool.