Meta’s first attempt at VR ads was a major flop. Now the company is shifting to a different lucrative strategy within its metaverse: buying and selling virtual “items and effects,” as described in a Monday Press release.
Commerce is coming specifically to Horizon Worlds, Meta’s open-world VR app where you can be the sketchy, cartoonish, floating torso you’ve always wanted to be. (See: Video accompanying company blog post.)
Horizon creators will be able to sell the items they craft in the world, such as virtual clothing and accessories or character mods, to other users. But Meta will skim a hefty 25% on top. The privilege of seeing the company formerly known as Facebook take a quarter of your income is currently limited to a small number of creators, hand-picked by the company itself.
After the test period, Meta hopes to expand the selling function to everyone. “These types of tools are steps toward our long-term vision of a metaverse where creators can earn a living and people can buy digital goods, services, and experiences,” the company wrote in its statement.
Metaverse purchases are limited to users 18 and older in the United States and Canada, and payments are processed through the Meta App Store. For now, simulated goods that users purchase in one of Horizon Worlds “worlds” will not be transferable to others, which means the fake items you pay for are only real in the area. designated in which you buy them. interview with CNETVivek Sharma, VP of Horizon de Meta, told the outlet, “We want to do this in a way that will eventually evolve to cross worlds, in shared spaces, and beyond.”
And all other parameters and characteristics of the booming metaverse economy are subject to change as well, as problems and potential solutions arise. For example, right now, users have no way of ensuring that the things they pay for will be as advertised, according to CNET. But Meta, again, is pushing this issue to be resolved at a later date. The future is there, but apparently not yet with consumer protection.