Facebook is working on a new golden opportunity

Alright, let’s talk money.

The Metaverse has generated mountains of buzz about a brave new world where people can do all kinds of awesome things from their computers.

Metaplatforms (Facebook) – Get the Class A report from Meta Platforms Inc.formerly Facebook, seeks to add money to all this chatter.

The social media giant said it’s testing several tools that will allow creators to experiment with different ways to earn money from what they build in Horizon Worlds, Meta’s social metaverse platform for headsets. Quest VR.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said a mobile phone version of Horizon Worlds will launch later this year.

Meta said it was expanding its $10 million Horizon Creators Fund, which it announced last October.

The company said it was rolling out a test with a handful of creators that would allow them to sell virtual items and effects in their worlds.

Someone, for example, could make and sell removable accessories for a fashion world or offer paid access to a new part of a world.

David Reid, professor of artificial intelligence and spatial computing at Liverpool Hope University, said that like web development, he expects the metaverse market to evolve.

However, Reid said there were two limiting factors. Currently, he said, there are about 14 million people with VR headsets compared to 15 billion people with cellphones.

In addition, there is the issue of interoperability.

Goods or services purchased in one place must be able to be transferred, Reid said, just as a wallet working in one place must work in other places.

“I think Mark Zuckerberg realizes that for the metaverse to work, interoperability is key,” Reid said. “If boundaries exist between different companies between different companies, then you are not creating a metaverse but a multiverse.”

At the moment, he added, “we have multiverses that don’t speak well to each other. For the metaverse economy to really take off, these separate multiverses must either reduce the boundaries between them or become one unified metaverse.” .

‘The first step’

The social media response includes a person who tweeted images of a crowd giving a standing ovation.

“It’s the first step to join the real world with the VR environment”, another person tweeted.

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“Maybe let the world play the game before investing billions of dollars in the game”, another commentator mentioned.

Of course, everything has a price, even in the metaverse.

A Meta spokesperson said creators will earn revenue from purchases people make in their worlds, subject to all relevant hardware platform fees and Horizon Worlds fees, which make up 25% of the rest.

If this happened today, there would be a Meta Quest Store fee of 30% and then a Horizon Platform fee – 25% of the remaining 70% – of 17.5% applied.

“Over time as we expand Horizon Worlds to more platforms – other companies will charge their own platform fees and that part may not go to Meta,” the spokesperson told TheStreet. “Horizon Worlds fees will remain at 25% of the remainder after all platform fees are taken.”

Rec Room and online gaming platform Roblox (RBLX) – Get Roblox Corp Class A Report. both allow creators to sell items they make.

The move to the metaverse had its challenges.

Meta posted weaker than expected fourth quarter results in February and Zuckerberg lost nearly $30 billion of his own wealth.

Earlier this year, Meta added a mandatory “personal limit” to Horizon Worlds and Venuses following complaints from users about being groped.

Meta said people participating in any monetization program must follow policies regarding prohibited conduct and content, which includes anything of an adult or sexual nature, as well as intense or violent content, “including blood and gore”.

“A multitude of worries”

The Security and Exchange Commission recently ruled that Meta must give investors the opportunity to review and vote on a shareholder proposal that challenges “social license to operate emerging technology like the Metaverse” without fully understanding the risks. potential and negative impacts.

Meta spoke out against the proposal in its proxy statement, saying “we believe we have the right approach in place for our metaverse efforts.”

Rabindra Ratan, an associate professor of media and information at Michigan State University, said he believed the SEC made a cautious decision and that despite Meta’s request to reject the valuation, “they will actually benefit in the long run from increased consideration of this issue at this early phase of metaverse technology development.”

“They stand to benefit greatly from the adoption of metaverse technologies, so they know the stakes are high,” Ratan said. “I would also expect them to better understand the need to pay attention to unexpected harm caused to their users by their products.”

Ratan, who received funding for his research lab at MSU from Meta in the form of an unrestricted gift, said the Metaverse would usher in a host of concerns, from managing the collection of private health-related data followed by the user’s body movements to attenuation embodied toxic or antisocial behavior to many others.

“Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, I believe that while there is potential for harm from metaverse technologies, there is also great potential for social benefit,” he said. “I hope this kind of review will increase the likely net benefit of the technology in the long run.”

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