Facebook last week started sending out invites to the closed alpha version of its Facebook Horizon VR platform announced last September.
In September 2019, Facebook announced Horizon, a VR sandbox universe where users can build their own games, play, and socialize with their friends. The platform is due to launch a closed beta version within 2020, but when this will happen hasn’t been confirmed.
However, according to reports, Facebook is now opening up its closed alpha of Horizon to users via invitation only, and therefore the closed beta won’t be far off.
A Redditor posted an invitation email he received asking him to sign an NDA to take part in the alpha as it “is an early form and [Facebook] will keep making product improvements over the course of the month.”
Despite the fact that VR is still far from democratized, Facebook Horizon is expected to be a game-changer.
Among other things, users will be able to design their own avatars, hop between virtual environments using Telepods, watch movies, and play games with their friends – all in VR.
Facebook plans to keep Horizon users safe with real human guides called Horizon Locals. They will be available within the platform to assist users and keep them safe from trolls.
As we have said before, any future success of Facebook Horizon may come with a shutdown of existing social VR experiences, including Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms. We’ll just have to wait and see whether this will be the case.