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Facebook brings emoji to VR with 360 Reactions

TechCrunch TechCrunch 22/06/2016 Fitz Tepper

Watching 360-degree videos alone on your Gear VR is about to get a little less lonely. Oculus just rolled out the ability for users to see and leave Facebook’s five emoji reactions on 360 Videos within Gear VR’s video app.

While Reactions started as a risky attempt at tampering with Facebook’s iconic Like button, they’ve become a popular way to convey emotion and make social networking just a little more human. This is why reactions will be especially helpful in VR – the platform can be lonely because you’re the only person seeing content. So seeing you’re friends reactions may make the experience a little more social.

Plus, since no one is going to be typing inside VR, reactions will let people convey complex emotions without breaking the momentum of an experience. 

This rollout is another sign of Facebook slowly bringing features that are mainstays in the Facebook ecosystem to VR. The company has always said that VR and Oculus are important parts of its product roadmap, meaning we could see even more future integrations between Facebook’s Oculus platform and Facebook’s good old social networking platform.

While reactions are launching today for 360 Videos, Oculus will also be rolling them out to 360 Photos in the coming weeks.

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