Meta’s Horizon Worlds is testing in-app purchases and creator bonuses – TechCrunch

Horizon Worlds, Meta’s social virtual reality app, is testing a feature that will allow creators to sell virtual items and effects in their worlds. It’s only happening for a small group of creators to begin with, but it’s an important next step in Meta’s long game of laying the groundwork for virtual reality social networks.

“If you just imagine a future Metaverse at some point, clearly the ability to sell virtual goods and be able to take them with you from one world to another is going to be an important part of that,” Meta said. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during a chat with Vidyuu Studios, where he announced the feature. “But first, there have to be things that people want to buy to get this economy started.”

All users with access to Horizon Worlds – that is, people over the age of 18 in the United States and Canada – will be able to make these purchases in the world. For starters, these items can be fashion items or access to secret sections of a world.

A popup showing an in-world purchase in Horizon Worlds

Picture credits: Meta

Meta is also beginning to test a Horizon Worlds Creator Bonus program for participants in the United States. Meta has already launched such programs on Instagram, where the company is eagerly pushing competitor TikTok Reels. It was described as an expansion of Meta’s $10 million Horizon Creators Fund, which rolled out in October, but the company did not immediately respond to questions about whether this bonus program was part of that $10 million investment. dollars, or whether this was a new round of creator funding. .

“Creator monetization is really important because you all need to be able to support yourself and earn a good living creating these amazing experiences,” Zuckerberg added.

The company formerly known as Facebook has gone to great lengths to promote its commitment to the metaverse. As sales of its flagship Quest headsets soared over the holidays, the VR industry racked up more than $10 billion in losses for Meta. Additionally, as social platforms like Horizon Worlds grow, Meta will need to learn how to keep VR communities safe, which is a tall order, especially when the company doesn’t have the best track record in content moderation. Already, many Horizon Worlds users have reported being groped or sexually harassed in the metaverse; other users report that the app is inundated with kids too young for the platform.

Zuckerberg spoke to a group of Horizon Worlds creators about these new monetization features during a panel discussion, which can be viewed below:

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