Meta is starting to let some VR content creators make money in Horizon Worlds, its social metaverse platform. A small number of creators will be able to sell virtual items within Horizon, or effectively put parts of their virtual worlds behind a pay gate. Meta will also award goals-based bonuses to some creators if they hit certain engagement metrics.
Mark Zuckerberg announced these new monetization tests in a video recorded in Horizon on Monday afternoon, in which he argued that it was necessary to experiment with these kinds of monetization opportunities to settle on a winning formula. “This will be a really iterative process,” he said. “We'll see what resonates with the people using the worlds, and then we'll build the next round of tools.”
Meta’s test will initially be limited to “a handful of creators,” according to a press release. The Horizon monetization tests will be available in the U.S. and Canada, and purchases will be limited to Horizon users who are at least 18 years old.
A screenshot shows an in-world purchase denominated in U.S. dollars. Though Meta has suggested in the past that its cryptocurrency efforts might prove relevant to its metaverse projects, it has more recently focused its financial business, now known as Meta Financial Technologies, on conventional payments for VR environments. That unit's head, Stephane Kasriel, said the name change signified its plan to "build for the metaverse."
The company is also hoping to attract more creators to Horizon. Last fall, Meta launched a $10 million fund for Horizon creators, and on Monday the company said that it would start releasing assets to simplify the creation of Horizon worlds.