Facebook expects games to be a big part of Horizon
Facebook is creating an immersive environment called Horizon to tempt people to spend more time in virtual reality.
The VR app will be a mix of social places where users can mingle and chat and other areas where they can play against each other.
People will inhabit and explore virtual spaces through a cartoon avatar.
The app will be made available and tested in early 2020 by a small group of Facebook users.
Stopping the stand
Details about Horizon and the first footage of the virtual space were shown at Facebook's Oculus Connect 6 developer conference this week.
Facebook said anyone using Horizon could use human "guides" to help them navigate and become familiar with the virtual environment.
The guides will not be "moderators" who will police the behavior, Facebook said. He added that it would include tools that allow people to manage how they interact with other users.
You will also have options that allow people to shape and build their own part of the environment. They will also be able to design their own avatars.
The whole space received a cartoony feel as it should be used on Facebook's Oculus Quest headset, which does not have the high resolution graphics of the headphones connected to the PC.
Sam Machkovech, reporter for Ars Technica, who tried Horizon, said Facebook put "a lot of work" in the version he saw, to make it as welcoming as possible.
But he noted that Horizon was "yet another" combination of apps, chat and avatars that Facebook had produced in just a few years. He suggested that he was still looking for a good combination that would prove itself tempting to users.
Horizon has a blocky, cartoony look to work well on Facebook's Quest headset
"We are still waiting for Facebook to inspire confidence that it will launch a virtual reality application and stay for over two years," he wrote.
Anyone interested in joining Horizon can apply to be one of the first testers.
The creation of Horizon means that Facebook will close its current VR hangouts – Facebook Spaces and Oculus Rooms. Both will close on October 25.
Facebook's VR expansion occurs when Samsung cuts off some support for the technology.
Samsung said it was withdrawing support for Gear VR technology on its Galaxy Note 10 smartphones. Neither Note 10 nor Note 10 Plus will be compatible with the Gear VR system.
Samsung's phone-based VR uses a headset into which a smartphone is docked to produce an immersive experience. Industry experts suggest that interest in phone-based VR systems, such as Gear VR, will diminish as standalone devices such as Oculus Quest become more widely available.
In a statement given to the technical news site Verge, Samsung said it was "committed to innovation" in augmented reality and VR systems. He said he would continue to maintain the software for Gear VR.