At its F8 developer conference earlier this year, Facebook launched Spaces in beta, unsurprisingly exclusive for the Oculus Rift, in an attempt to bring its social network to the world of virtual reality.
Spaces allow users to invite their Facebook friends into a virtual space, where they could draw in three dimensions, play games, make video calls via Facebook Messenger, among various other activities.
Today, in a surprise announcement, Facebook has released Spaces for the HTC Vive, bringing its virtual experiences to a competing VR platform. Although, the company is still bypassing Valve’s Steam store, opting to simply provide a direct download.
Oculus Rift and HTC Vive users can now participate in the same activities across platforms, as the Vive version comes with all the same features that are available for the Rift. However, it’s unclear whether the Vive version would also work on the Windows Mixed Reality platform – the two are compatible with each other, after all.
Facebook’s Head of Social VR, Rachel Rubin Franklin, stated that this move was only the beginning:
This is our first expansion onto a new platform, but it's only the beginning: We're working to bring Facebook Spaces to even more VR platforms and devices in the future, so stay tuned.
The HTC Vive version of Spaces is available on Facebook’s website as a direct download.