Facebook wants you to hang out with your friends in VR

The Chatbot Revolution Is on Hold

Using Spaces, people can hang out around a virtual reality table, share three-dimensional drawings and use the Rift's built-in microphone to chat with one another.

Since not everyone has a VR headset just yet, you can also interact with people using video calling on Messenger - they simply appear as a 2D video within the virtual space.

You can also remove your friends from your space, and pause or mute if you need to take a break from the virtual world.

Separate and apart from the Oculus deal, Facebook has already pumped $250 million into VR research and development. However, Spaces didn't work as the company advertised - while I could hear and see my friend's avatar on the screen, she wasn't moving, and I couldn't draw on the Tic-Tac-Toe game she created for us to play.

Facebook Spaces lets users create a digital avatar based on their actual appearance, and interact in a virtual world where they can meet other friends. Users will be able to view a Space from their smartphone, and have their video call shown inside the virtual reality environment.

Facebook thinks it can make make VR more social, and now it has an actual product so people can spend time with other real people in a virtual world. It's all pretty basic stuff focused around having fun at the moment, everything feels quite a bit more light-hearted than the cold, bulky Oculus hardware you're using to experience Spaces. Before you ask, Facebook Spaces is the company's first social VR app.

Rachel Franklin, head of social VR at Facebook, pointed out that people find the experience very real.

With Spaces, those who have bought into the Oculus ecosystem can connect their Facebook accounts and dive into an environment where communication isn't about chat messages, but voice and avatar body language. From there, you can customize the look of your avatar by changing things like eye color, hairstyle and facial features to best match your identity.

Facebook have revealed their first attempt at integrating the social network's platform with virtual reality in an effort to give users a new way to hang out with their friends. You can do that when you visit the Early Access section of the Oculus Store-and of course, it's available for free download.