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Facebook Is Working on Virtual-Reality Apps (That It Thinks Beyoncé Will Use)

Clearly, none of our user-generated VR content will be as exciting as Beyoncé's.

Asa Mathat

It has been nearly a year since Facebook bought Oculus, the maker of a virtual-reality headset, for $2 billion dollars.

Turns out that some of Facebook’s plans for VR may involve content produced by its own users — as well as by celebrities.

Speaking onstage Tuesday night at the Code/Media conference at The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, Calif., Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox extolled the virtual-reality experience and divulged that the social networking giant has its own VR ambitions.

“I mean, virtual reality is pretty cool. We’re working on apps for VR,” he said to Re/code senior editor Peter Kafka.

“Have you used some of the film demos inside of VR?” Cox continued. He cited an example in which the headset wearer envisions being inside a Blue Angel fighter jet, and another VR experience that sets the viewer inside a yurt in Mongolia.

“You realize, when you’re in it, that you’re looking at the future, and it’s going to be awesome. When you’re in Facebook, you’re just sending around these bits of experience — a photo, a video, a thought,” Cox said, whereas with VR, you could be “sending a fuller picture.”

“So will people be able to make virtual-reality content?” Kafka asked.

“Totally. You’ll do it, Beyoncé will do it,” Cox replied.

(Beyoncé creations, of course, will inevitably be cooler than the rest of ours.)

Cox didn’t offer many details as to how Facebook users, who are currently uploading and engaging with videos on Facebook “at a record pace,” will create this VR content; it’s still something that requires multiple cameras and a fair amount of production to pull off.

He also didn’t say when he thinks this will become a reality, except to admit it probably won’t be “for a while. We’re probably a long way from everyone having these headsets.”

Below, video highlights from the interview.

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