Facebook Horizon Invite-Only Beta Is Ready For Virtual Explorers

Oculus blog
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27 August 2020
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At OC6, we debuted a first look at Facebook Horizon, a social experience where you can explore, play, and create with others in VR. We’ve been testing Horizon with an early group of creators. And in the coming weeks, we’ll start bringing some people from the waitlist into Horizon’s invite-only beta. We’re excited to share what we’ve been working on and continue building Horizon with you—this is just the start.

Explore Worlds of Possibilities

Horizon invites you to explore an ever-expanding universe of virtual experiences designed and built by the entire community. Everything you see in Horizon, including the Plaza and worlds created by our teams at Facebook, has been built with the Horizon creation tools. In Horizon, you can build the things you want to see and places you want to visit.

Our mission is to create meaningful connections between people and foster a strong sense of community for everyone who joins Horizon. That’s why we’re excited to hear your feedback and work with early adopters to evolve Horizon as we begin to grow its community. Horizon is as much about meaningful connections as it is about creating VR worlds and expressing yourself. Eventually, we envision large spaces where many people can gather in Horizon, but for now, up to eight people can share a space.

Horizon makes it easy to meet up with your friends or explore with new people. Once you’re there, you can join a Party to chat together as you navigate Horizon and check out featured worlds in the Horizon Plaza to see what’s new. You can also navigate to the menu, where you can search the published worlds in Horizon by name and find new places to explore.

Over the past few months, we’ve been working with community members to pilot our creation tools and start building worlds. “Walking through your world, and being proud of what you made, has been the most rewarding aspect,” says Horizon creator Clint Ferguson, who built a jungle-themed adventure world. “Easy collaborative building tools bring your ideas to life. Horizon lets you be as detailed and creative as your imagination will allow.”

Over the past few months, Ferguson and other Horizon creators have built all sorts of pioneering experiences that beta users can try out today in Horizon. For a look at Ferguson’s world, and to hear from other Horizon creators, head over to the Tech@ blog.

Safety and Privacy in Horizon

As we push the boundaries for what’s possible in social VR, it’s important to us that people feel in control of their Horizon experience. Everyone in Horizon must follow the Oculus Code of Conduct, and we’re introducing several new features that make it easier to submit reports and address issues.

You can access a personal Safe Zone through your wrist menu at any time in Horizon. Our research over the past few years has found that when people experience something overwhelming or surprising in VR, they want the option to step away first, and then take action second. Once you’re in your personal Safe Zone, you can mute, block, or report people and content around you.

We also know things can happen quickly in VR, and reviewing reports takes time. So, similar to the functionality we launched with Oculus Venues several years ago, we’ve improved our system to provide a helping hand and address issues as they happen. If you mute, block, or report someone, a trained safety specialist, who will not appear as an avatar, may remotely observe and record the situation to ensure your safety. This way, they can submit additional evidence for us to review, and they can temporarily ban someone from Horizon while we review reports.

And finally, we’ll soon introduce a feature to make it easier for you to submit reports in Horizon. We know it’s difficult to record a painful incident while it’s happening, which is why your Oculus headset will capture the last few minutes of your experience in Horizon on a rolling basis. When you submit a report, you can include this captured information as evidence of what happened. This information is collected through a rolling buffer that’s processed locally on your device and is overwritten over time. Captured audio data from this rolling buffer is not stored on our servers unless a report is submitted, however, we may store other data about your experience in Horizon in accordance with the Supplemental Beta Facebook Horizon Data Policy. When you submit a report, our trained safety specialists will use the information to take appropriate action and then delete the recordings.

See You in Horizon

The invite-only beta will be available on Oculus Quest and the Rift Platform in the U.S. and Canada to start. We’ll welcome more people over time, and you can add your name to the beta waitlist.

We can’t wait to continue building Horizon with you. We’ve got a long and exciting road ahead, and feedback from the community is an essential part of the journey. “Make what inspires you,” says Horizon creator Sunny Ammerman. “Don’t feel like you need to meet some popularity benchmark, or cater to what you think other people want. Make something that you want, and your originality and uniqueness will shine through and inspire others. Above all else, have fun!”

Visit the Horizon page for more information, and to stay current on the latest news and updates.