Meta has begun testing private environments in its Horizon Worlds, allowing rights holders, content creators and brands to create exclusive community spaces in the metaverse platform.
Horizon Worlds is a virtual reality (VR) social universe developed for the Meta Quest headset, intended for gatherings, events, games and other digital activities. More than 10,000 public ‘worlds’ have been built on the platform.
Members-only worlds will build upon the recently introduced personal spaces and let creators construct and manage a tailored experience for a limited number of users. Owners can choose who can enter the world, with the alpha test currently restricted to 150 total users and 25 simultaneous visitors.
Meta will provide community management and moderation tools, and all users can report behavior that breaches the code of conduct.
‘With full control over who can access their worlds, creators can always give a positive experience where people can build connections and foster a strong, thriving community,’ Meta said in a blog post.
‘We aim to give creators the power to craft the experience they wish to provide to others fully.
‘During this alpha test, we’ll select a small group of trusted creators to collaborate with to construct and gain feedback on the design and moderation of members-only worlds to refine further and improve the product.
‘We’re thrilled to give creators a new way to foster secure and thriving communities and empower them to govern their closed spaces effectively. The test will ensure that we’ve provided creators with the tools they need to succeed and users can see the clear benefits before we consider expanding the availability of members-only worlds to more creators.’
Facebook’s rebranding as Meta reflects the company’s ambition to be associated with the many technologies and digital environments that will eventually form the metaverse. It hopes that by cultivating this public perception, and being first to market with easily accessible hardware and software, it will have a permanent spot at the table during the internet’s next evolution.
Horizon Worlds is a key part of this mission, and Meta recruits numerous sports properties to help reinforce this vision. The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) are some of the organisations involved, offering live broadcasts in VR.
Members-only spaces will help rights holders create communities that deepen engagement or provide a platform for special events. For example, fans of a particular athlete could be invited to a virtual meet-and-great, or there could be an exclusive showing of a live event.
These community initiatives and rewards could be connected to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), another technology that many believe will be a fundamental building block of Web 3.0.