Last year when giant social media platform – Facebook announced its name change to Meta, the company also disclose its big plans on VR and future ambitions of the Metaverse. Ever since the rebrand the company has set aside billions to build hardware and software that extends beyond traditional social media. Meta has now shared details with the public about how well its performing with VR. Although the plan within the next decade remains to bring the metaverse to host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support jobs for millions of creators and developer.
In a bid to follow through on its near future ambitions, Meta’s has set aside billions for the creation of its highest-profile social VR platform for the Quest headset called Horizon Worlds. If you recall the VR platform featured in Meta’s Super Bowl ad recently and the reviews gathered so far has been very impressive. During a virtual meeting earlier in the week, that brought so Meta employees together — the company’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, briefed employees about unreported update on Horizon’s user growth.
In the virtual meeting the chief product officer disclose how the VR social platform Horizon Worlds monthly user base had grown to 300,000 people since it rolled out to users in the US and Canada in early December. Meta spokesperson Joe Osborne has since confirmed the stat and said it included users of Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues, a separate app dedicated to attending live events in VR and makes use of the same avatars and basic mechanics. The number however doesn’t include Horizon Workrooms, a VR conferencing experience that functions mainly on an invite system.
Long before official rollout in December, Horizon Worlds had been in testing by private beta for creators whose focus was its world-building tools. Horizon Worlds is that social VR platform that lets people build custom environments inwhich social activities like hanging out and playing games are the order of the day as legless avatars obviously. In a recent announcement by Meta, 10,000 separate worlds have been built in Horizon Worlds and its private Facebook group for creators hit over 20,000 members.
Although Horizon Worlds was introduced to the public few months ago, its may be too early to start having discussion about its growth and performances. The focus of the discussion should be finding ways to retain these users its has rapidly gathered over time. Ofcourse figures of monthly users for social products such as this will certainly out number figures of daily users. A factor that contributed to the rapid growth of the platform was the sales during the holiday season, the holiday season certainly drived interest for the Quest headset.
For now it’s difficult to tell Horizon’s success rate as Meta hasn’t disclosed the number of Quest headsets sold. But reports say an esteemate of over 10 million for the Quest. Zuckerberg has said that mobile phone version of Horizon would be widely available to the public later in the year, this is in a bid to “bring early metaverse experiences to more surfaces beyond VR.” Bringing Horizon to mobile would position it as even more of a competitor to Rec Room, a well-funded, social gaming app with 37 million monthly users across gaming consoles, mobile phones, and VR. According to the CEO “While the deepest and most immersive experiences are going to be in virtual reality, you’re also going to be able to access the worlds from your Facebook or Instagram apps as well, and probably more over time.”
Right now it’s observed that Meta is yet to profit form Horizon Worlds but the pressure for its success remains heavy especially due to the fact that the company’s stock tanked as investors question its expensive metaverse push. Beyond that there lies the problem of content moderation, underage users in VR, and making Horizon reliable and safe enough for millions to use, ways for creators to make money. Recently many users complained about been unable to join the Foo Fighters concert which held in Venues after the Super Bowl. This problems amongst many other need to be fixed with long term solutions. As for the stat of early user, thats only an indicator that Horizon has a shot at being big, giving the platform some more time will result in more users.