Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, is now launching a pilot project that will let users in Horizon Worlds, its VR metaverse platform, monetize their creations. This pilot will allow a number of users to collect payments for access to their created environments, or for virtual items sold in these worlds. Meta will also take a cut from the sales, which could reportedly be up to 50% of the price.

Meta Launches Horizon Worlds Monetization Program

Meta is starting to take the reach of Horizon Worlds, its flagship VR metaverse experience, more seriously. After the December 2021 launch, and experiencing significant growth with its userbase growing tenfold in just three months, Meta has decided to embark on a monetization path for the experience. Horizon Worlds had reached a milestone of 300K monthly active users in February with more than 10K worlds being created at that time, but it had still not set up means for profiting from this growth.

The company is now launching a pilot program that will allow some creators on the platform to sell virtual items or to collect payments for access to their experiences. The company did not offer a definitive number on how many creators will be included in this first stage, only saying there will be a “handful.” The idea is to implement an open market where all users can benefit from user-generated content availability.

Meta’s Cut

Naturally, Meta is not going to open these options without taking a cut of the sales. The company set up a 30% fee for each sale after paying store fees. This can be tricky to calculate, but according to calculations made by The Verge, creators would be left with a little more than half of each sale of a virtual item or access to a virtual world.

To Meta, this is an adequate model that lets storefronts take their cut. On this, Vivek Sharma, Meta’s VP of Horizon, stated:

We think it’s a pretty competitive rate in the market. We believe in the other platforms being able to have their share.

Meta has abstained from integrating ads into Horizon Worlds, aside from one instance that features a Wendy’s themed experience inside Horizon Worlds, called the Wendysverse. However, Meaghan Fitzgerald, product marketing director for Horizon has stated that ads “may be an area we want to explore in the future.” Meta is already allowing companies to post metaverse-inspired ads on some of their apps, including Instagram and Facebook.

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