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“Hey Facebook” might be a more common thing in the future

Move over, Siri. Step Aside, Alexa—we’ve got a new wake words this time. Facebook has introduced the “Hey Facebook” wake word for its Portal smart displays and the Oculus Quest platform.

Facebook made an announcement for their Oculus Quest headsets, with plans to release it to all Quest devices in the future. The addition would be “optional”, but they aim to give users a “mostly hands-free” experience—and they’re rolling it out starting this week.

“This will be a gradual rollout, but you can find and enable the wake word via our Experimental Features settings—and then say “Hey Facebook, take a screenshot,” “Hey Facebook, show me who’s online,” “Hey Facebook, open Supernatural,” or any of our other voice commands to get started,” wrote Oculus.

But unlike Siri or Alexa—who arguably “always listens”—Quest doesn’t listen for the wake word when the microphone is turned off, or when the headset is asleep or powered down. You can also turn off “Hey Facebook” in its Experimental Features panel.

Source: Oculus

For Portal, they only stated that we could use “Hey Facebook” in their support page, and never made an official announcement. You are able to choose between “Hey Facebook” or “Hey Portal”—their original wake words—by tapping Settings in your Portal, then Assistants, “Hey Facebook”, then tap Wake Word underneath General, and then by tapping your preferred phrase.

Additionally, Portal will also respond to the wake words if you’ve connected it to your WhatsApp account. However, our voice interactions are not stored or accessible as “voice interactions occurring during a WhatsApp call are not sent to Facebook servers.”

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I think it might be a sign that Facebook is slowly trying to make their new wake words a thing worldwide. You might even be able to “talk to” social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram one day—but hopefully not, as I think enough tech is listening to me already.


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Dzamira Dzafri