Meta Tests Letting Creators Sell Products in Virtual Reality

Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced Monday that it will allow content creators to sell virtual objects to consumers in Horizon Worlds, its major platform in the metaverse.

“For example, someone may develop and sell attachable items for a fashion world or offer paid access to a new area of a globe,” the California-based tech firm stated in a press release, AFP reports.

The metaverse, dubbed the “future of the internet” by Meta and other companies, is a collection of parallel “universes” accessed largely through augmented and virtual reality technologies.

It already exists in a basic version in video games like Minecraft, Fortnite, and Roblox, as well as social platforms like Horizon Worlds and VRChat, where people get together not only to play, but also to communicate and engage in events. Meta, whose revenue is primarily derived from large-scale targeted advertising, has made it its mission to make a significant contribution to the creation of the metaverse, and is staking out its position in the next struggle for the public’s attention.

To that aim, the social networking behemoth is attempting to attract content creators, who will most likely attract more new members. It had already established a $10 million fund for artists on Horizon in October, where the business claims there are over 10,000 different “worlds”.

“While we’re introducing this today as a test with a few of creators to hear their feedback,” Meta explained, “these types of tools are steps toward our long-term vision for the metaverse where creators can earn a living and users can purchase digital goods, services, and experiences.”

The company also intends to test rewards for developers who meet certain criteria, such as “creating worlds that attract the most time spent.” In contrast to earnings from virtual objects, which is subject to a commission, these bonuses will not be “subject to fees and will be delivered to creators in full,” according to Meta.

According to a February story on the specialized site The Verge, Horizon Worlds has over 300,000 members in the United States and Canada.

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