Oculus is rolling out content-based discoverability features for developers to promote apps, stories, and events, but there’s a catch. It’s only available to Gear VR owners for now.
Gear VR owners, until now, could only search apps on the Oculus platform by their names. This was very limiting as users couldn’t search for apps based on interests or experiences.
As we’ve written before here, VR has many limitations to widespread consumer interest. These simple issues seem like the least companies like Oculus can do to enhance the user experience.
This is what Oculus is seeking to change with its latest discoverability features. A content-based search will help users discover more apps to use.
“As the Oculus platform grows with more apps and content, our goal is to help people find apps and experiences that are relevant to them.”
Users can discover content in three ways. They are:
- Oculus Explore: Showcases content based on users’ interests thus apps they’ve installed. On Oculus explore, users will find photo and video stories, auto-generated content from trending apps, and stories created by developers themselves (like new features and in-app content).
- Oculus Events: Events show time-specific content to all users regardless of whether they’ve downloaded the apps or not. Events show up in both Oculus explore and Oculus home.
- Oculus Search: Like any marketplace search engine, Oculus search returns the relevant search results for any keyword query. Users can simply type in the type of content or experience they want and get a list of apps that match them.
According to the product manager of Oculus, Florence Koskas, a majority of users who use Gear VR search to find apps search with content types and not app names.
What this means is, in the absence of a content-based app search, more users were unable to discover their desired apps on the Oculus platform.
This latest rollout brings a huge relief to users who have longed for these features and at the same time delivers more users to apps on the platform.
While this update is only available to Gear VR for now, Christina Womack, product manager at Oculus, said last week at the Oculus Connect’s opening keynote that Oculus will extend Gear VR’s Explore section to Rift next year.