Meta’s Social VR App is Coming to Web & Mobile Soon, Alpha Begins for Members-only Rooms

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Horizon Worlds, Meta’s social VR platform for Quest users, is expanding with alpha tests of new members-only spaces, allowing creators to manage up to 150 card-carrying members in their private worlds. Meta says it’s also gearing up to release Horizon Worlds on non-Quest devices for the first time.

Meta is now rolling out alpha access to its new members-only worlds, which aims to let creators build and cultivate a space in Horizon Worlds. Each members-only world can have up to 150 members, although only 25 concurrent visitors can gather at any given time.

“Every community develops its own norms, etiquette, and social rules over time as it fosters a unique culture,” the company says in a blogpost. “To enable that, we’ll provide the tools that allow the creators of members-only worlds to set the rules for their communities and maintain those rules for their closed spaces.”

Meta says moderation responsibilities can be shared among trusted members, so creators can better control who gets in and who’s kicked out, however the company says its Code of Conduct for Virtual Experiences is still in effect in privately owned spaces.

What’s more, the Quest-only social platform is also going to be available on the Web and mobile devices “soon”, the company says, adding that rules will be made and enforced “similarly to how mobile operating systems manage experiences on their platforms.”

As it is today, Horizon Worlds plays host to a growing number of user-generated content in addition to first-party worlds. The release of Horizon Worlds outside of Quest would represent a massive potential influx of users and user-generated content, putting it in direct competition with cross-platform social gaming titans such as Roblox and Rec Room.

As a similar free-to-play app, Horizon Worlds offers an Avatar Store featuring premium digital outfits—very likely only a first step in the company’s monetization strategy. For now, the company says it allows creators to earn revenue from purchases people make in their worlds, which includes hardware platform fees and a Horizon Worlds fee, which Meta says is 25 percent.

In late October, Meta showed off a tempting preview of its next-gen avatars, although it’s clear there’s still a ton of work to be done to satisfy its existing userbase. Floating torsos are still very much a thing in Horizon Worlds, and that’s despite Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s insistence that full body tracking was in the works. It was too good to be true.

For now, Horizon Worlds is only available on Quest 2 headsets in the US, Canada, UK, France, Iceland, Ireland and Spain—something we hope they change well before it ushers in flatscreen users.