Ellen says, ‘Two is Better than One’

Tom Nickel
2 min readDec 9, 2018

Ellen and Facebook brought the truth about VR to TV.

VR is not inherently isolating.

Why did she give away two Oculus Go VR Headsets? Because VR is Social and it takes two to tango.

It would have been so much simpler, and much more obvious, to give away one. It took real intent, and I’ll bet much internal coaxing and cajoling, to give away two. It’s unusual and unusual almost never happens.

Unusual won this time because Facebook knows Social is the value they can add, the only value they can add. Facebook needs you to feel how cool it is to watch something with someone who’s not there.

I’ve been to Oculus Venue events. I didn’t meet a real-world friend there, but I did get into some interesting conversations with the avatars next to me. People I didn’t know. In fact, I remember those conversations better than I remember the events, which were comedy shows.

It is cool to watch something with someone who is not there. It’s even cooler to hang out with someone who is not there, not as a co-spectator, which Facebook can easily monetize, but just as people hanging out, talking about stuff. Two friends, three or four friends, who are not co-located.

I’ve done it some and I like it. I don’t do it more because I’m not in the habit and it’s a slight hassle. It’s pretty safe to assume that I will get more in the habit and it will become less of a hassle.

My biggest hope for VR is that we’ll use it for all kinds of socializing — from Facebook’s kind where we pay to watch with a friend who is not there with us while some big star performs … to VR Salons, where groups of people discuss complex issues productively … to just chillin’

Ellen helped that happen, I think.

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Tom Nickel

Learning Technologist focusing on VR, Video, and Mortality … producer of Less Than One Minute and 360 degree videos