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Chairman, chief executive, and co-founder of the social networking website Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a press conference presenting Samsung's new Galaxy 7 mobile device, on the eve of the official opening of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 21, 2016. The world's biggest mobile fair, Mobile World Congress, is held from February 22 to February 25. / AFP / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images) Lluis Gene—AFP/Getty Images

Facebook Is Building a Team to Take Virtual Reality Beyond Gaming

Feb 22, 2016

Facebook is eager to prove that virtual reality (VR) can be useful beyond video games.

The tech giant announced Sunday that it is creating a “social VR” team separate from Oculus VR, the gaming-focused virtual reality startup that Facebook acquired for $2 billion back in 2014.

“In the future, VR will enable even more types of connection — like the ability for friends who live in different parts of the world to spend time together and feel like they’re really there with each other,” the company said in a blog post.

To emphasize Facebook’s commitment to VR, CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise appearance at Mobile World Conference, an annual technology event, touting the company’s ambitions. “Pretty soon we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you’re just there, right there in person,” he said.

For now, the only real view the public has into Facebook’s VR plans is the Oculus Rift, which costs $600 and begins shipping in March.

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