Having spent $2 billion to buy Oculus VR, Facebook is obviously very interested in figuring out how to make virtual reality an extremely compelling social experience.
That’s why it has been working hard on developing a VR system that allows multiple people to get together in a virtual space and communicate in a rich way that makes everyone feel a sense of presence–an extension, of course, of Facebook itself. Just last week, the company showed off a live social VR demo in which several execs showed how they could take VR selfies, play cards, have emotional expressions, and even incorporate a video Messenger call.
Now, Facebook says they have brought on former Electronic Arts exec and Maxis boss Rachel Rubin Franklin as head of Social VR. But a Facebook spokesperson tells Fast Company that the nascent division isn’t really run as a top-down structure. Franklin’s job will be helping to coordinate efforts across the teams being led by other social VR leaders at Facebook–including Daniel James, Mike Booth, and fellow former Maxis exec Lucy Bradshaw.
Franklin, interestingly, replaced Bradshaw as head of Maxis just last year.