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Quest Gets A System-Wide Blocking API, But Will Developers Use It?

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Quest now has a system-wide Blocking API as part of the Platform SDK.

This means developers can keep people you already blocked in other apps away from you.

While Meta provides a friends and matchmaking service, most developers use their own system to be able to release on multiple platforms, including SteamVR and non-VR consoles. But this means if someone harasses, trolls or annoys you in one app, blocking them won’t stop them interacting with you in other apps.

When you click on an in-app block button, developers can now trigger a system popup to block their Oculus account too. Given this popup will return the response to app, this could even replace the application’s own blocking interface.

Developers can also retrieve a list of app-specific identification numbers for people who have the same app that the current user has already blocked at the system level. This information can be used to at least mute these users, or ideally prevent them being in the same session at all.

Documentation for Blocking API is available on the Oculus Developer Website.

Using the Blocking API is currently encouraged but not required. It’s unclear how many developers will actually adopt the feature, especially those with focus on multiple platforms. Given the recent interest from wider media in negative interactions in social VR spaces though, could Meta one day enforce its use for apps on the Quest Store?

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