Horizon Worlds, Meta’s social virtual reality program, is experimenting with a feature that will allow artists to sell virtual things and effects in their worlds. This is only available to a select set of artists at the moment, but it’s an essential step forward in Meta’s long-term strategy of laying the groundwork for virtual reality social networking. “Clearly, the ability to sell virtual things and to be able to carry them with you from one world to another is going to be an essential element of it,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview with Vidyuu Studios, where he introduced the feature.
“However, in order to get that economy moving, there must first be items that people desire to buy.” These in-world purchases will be available to all Horizon Worlds users who are above the age of 18 in the United States and Canada. To begin with, these goods may be fashion items or access to hidden areas of the globe.
Meta is also experimenting with a Horizon Worlds Creator Bonus scheme for players in the United States. Meta has already experimented with similar initiatives on Instagram, where it is heavily promoting its TikTok rival Reels. This was touted as an extension of Meta’s $10 million Horizon Creators Fund, which was launched in October, but the firm did not reply to concerns regarding whether or not this bonus program is part of the $10 million investment, or if this is a new round of creative financing.
“Creator monetization is critical,” Zuckerberg said, “because you all need to be able to sustain yourselves and make a livelihood producing these amazing experiences.” The firm that used to be known as Facebook has gone to great efforts to emphasize its dedication to the metaverse. While sales of its flagship Quest headsets increased during the holidays, Meta has lost over $10 billion in the virtual reality sector.
Plus, if social platforms like Horizon Worlds increase in popularity, Meta will need to figure out how to keep virtual reality communities safe, which is a tough ask given the company’s track record when it comes to content moderation. Many Horizon Worlds users have already reported being grabbed or sexually harassed in the metaverse, while others claim that the software is inundated with youngsters who are too young to use it.