Meta, formerly Facebook, has launched a pilot project to allow users in Horizon Worlds, its VR metaverse platform for monetizing their creations. The pilot will enable users to receive payments for their virtual worlds, as well as for virtual items that are sold there. Meta could also receive a 50% cut of sales.
Meta Launches Horizon Worlds Monetization Program
Meta is beginning to take Horizon Worlds, the flagship VR metaverse experience, seriously. Meta decided to monetize the experience after the December 2021 launch and significant growth in its userbase. This was just three months ago. Horizon Worlds had hit 300K monthly active users in February, with more than 10K new worlds created. However, it still had not established means to profit from this growth.
Now, the company will launch a pilot program which will allow creators to sell virtual goods or collect payments to access their experiences. The company didn’t give a number for the first stage. They only said that there would be “handful” of creators. The goal is to create an open marketplace where all users can access user-generated content.
Meta will not open these opportunities without taking a cut from the sales. After paying store fees, the company established a 30% fee per sale. It can be difficult to calculate this, but The Verge calculated that creators would receive a little over half of every sale of virtual items or access to virtual worlds.
Except for one instance, which features a Wendy’s-themed experience within Horizon Worlds called the Wendysverse, Meta has resisted integrating ads into Horizon Worlds. Meaghan Fitzgerald is Horizon’s product marketing director. She stated that ads are something they may consider in the future. Meta allows companies to place metaverse-inspired ads on their apps including Instagram and Facebook.