Facebook, the parent company of Oculus, has decided to rebrand the VR technology developer under the name Facebook Reality Labs (FRL). FRL has existed previously for quite some time, as a catch-all for Facebook’s VR and AR ventures. In an effort to combine multiple departments, Oculus is now being grouped under the brand, along with Facebook’s other AR and VR ventures. Oculus Connect will be known as Facebook Connect, starting with the upcoming virtual event on September 16th. This comes on the heels of what is essentially the end of Oculus accounts, with devices now requiring a Facebook account for full use, starting January 2023.
— Oculus (@oculus) August 25, 2020
Facebook has faced a lot of criticism recently for these changes, with many users rejected the company’s prevalence in Oculus branding and functionality. In a blog post, Andrew Bosworth, head of FRL, shared their goal with the rebranding, saying “Much like Facebook’s recent corporate rebranding, our emphasis is on clarity — visually identifying us as a part of Facebook while looking toward the future of the next computing platform that puts people at the center.” As they consolidate their sectors, the company wants to make it clear to consumers what projects and products are owned by Facebook. When Oculus is searched on Google, the company description now reads “Facebook Reality Lab formerly Oculus is a brand of Facebook Technologies, LLC, a subsidiary of Facebook Inc.” These changes have spawned more of the same criticism generated from similar updates.
Oculus is historic, you shouldn’t kill it off. It’s the name of the company who brought VR back into the industry and is the brand most people first think of.
— Khaan (@misterk7_) August 25, 2020
Many users fear the company will do away with the Oculus name and brand altogether, but Facebook has confirmed that’s not what this is. Whether that will happen in the future remains to be seen, but recent moves have caused to sense a near-end to the Oculus name. To read the full announcement, click here.