Meta, formerly known as Facebook, has gone to extreme lengths to promote its commitment to the Metaverse. The company is pouring billions of dollars into Oculus; a technology that it hopes will one day connect billions of people in a shared virtual universe. It recently announced a new monetization plan for its virtual-reality game Horizon Worlds, which allows players to carry their digital items from within the game into the real world. The company said it is currently testing several methods of monetization, including the sale of digital goods such as clothing and accessories. CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared in a video alongside a blog entry on the company’s website for the announcement.
Meta envisions the Metaverse as a full-scale virtual reality world where you can visit places, see people, and make new friends—similar to how you might use social media today, but much more immersive. That’s what Horizon Worlds hopes to achieve with its new platform. Horizon Worlds is a social virtual reality app with customizable world spaces and building tools that lets users experience immersive worlds, watch and create VR content, and play multiplayer games. Since its inception, Horizon’s goal has been to provide a virtual reality platform for creating virtual experiences. Now, the suite of apps encompasses other platforms such as Horizon Venues for concertgoers and Horizon Workrooms for collaboration.
With Horizon Worlds, Meta focuses on providing virtual environments where people can hang out and interact with each other. And as its name suggests, the application supports multiple worlds that users can explore together. Following up on this, Meta is ramping up efforts to help its users monetize their creations within the Metaverse platform by expanding the Creator Fund, which was launched in October 2021.
The company wants to make it easier for creators to earn money in Horizon Worlds, where creators and entrepreneurs will have more freedom to find a business model that works for them. Meta aims to support these efforts by providing advertising capabilities, so creators who build an audience can sell ads similar to how they would on a website or YouTube channel, as well as opportunities for brands and companies to sponsor “in-world experiences” within virtual spaces.
Meta has invested heavily in VR and its cousin, Augmented Reality, AR, VR—and now they’re taking an important next step. It’s announcing a new set of features that introduce real money transactions to the platform: creators will now be able to sell items and effects within their worlds. Virtual items are already available in Horizon Worlds, but they’re free—meaning you can find them around or earn them by doing things like participating in events.
With this update, some creators will be able to charge real money for some items and effects, which could eventually lead to user-generated content being sold on the platform. Initially, only a small number of creators will be able to sell items from their worlds, but Meta says it plans to add more creators over time as it tests and iterates on this approach.
It also has plans for launching more features and improvements for developers, including tools for managing monetized items, setting custom pricing, and reviewing sales data in their creator dashboard. It was initially thought of as a way for Horizon creators to make money off creations they’d already built for their virtual worlds. Still, Meta wants to turn this into a more formalized program as it looks for more ways to monetize its Metaverse ambitions.
Along with this, Meta has also announced a Creator Bonus program that rewards creators for hitting certain goals. For the time being, the monthly goals include creating worlds that draw the greatest attention. These objectives, however, may be broadened in the future. Bonus payments are handed out at the end of each month and do not incur any additional costs.
The goal of this program is to incentivize creators to build the most engaging worlds and content on Meta. This in turn, will lead to a better experience for all participants. For example, as a world creator, you could build an engaging virtual music festival that attracts thousands of people. As more time is spent within your world, your Metaverse rewards will grow accordingly.
Creators who are participating in any of the monetization programs must follow all the policies of Meta, including the Conduct in VR Policy and the Horizon Worlds Prohibited Content Policy. This includes creators who have earned an override using the Creator Incentive Program, in-world purchase revenue from any monetization program, or creator bonus revenue from their channel page.
Written by Jay Anthony,
Marketing Head, TECHVED Consulting