Meta is rolling out the first stages of a new digital economy that will underpin its new metaverse pivot.
Yesterday, the parent company of Facebook revealed that it’s testing features that will enable creators to make money trading virtual items and effects in the company’s social virtual reality game Horizon Worlds.
Speaking to The Verge about the digital currency pilot, Horizon’s product marketing director, Meaghan Fitzgerald, said creators will be able to trade anything from virtual accessories to VIP access to their private patch of the metaverse. U.S. participants in the pilot will also be able to earn money thanks to a $10 million fund set up by Meta to incentivize creators.
Meta will take a 25% cut of the percentage left after the platform fee; with Meta’s Quest Store charging a 30% fee, that leaves creators with slightly over half the sale price, which Meta’s VP of Horizon described as “a pretty competitive rate in the market”.
Horizon Worlds was released on Meta’s Quest and Rift virtual reality headsets in the U.S. and Canada in December last year, shortly after the company rebranded from Facebook and killed the "Oculus" brand. The social game is expected to drop on mobiles soon with a possible console release in the pipeline.
Meta’s metaverse push
Meta’s announcement comes on the heels of speculation that it’s planning an in-app token within its metaverse.
According to a Financial Times report from last week, Meta is seeking alternative revenue streams to advertising, with virtual currencies once again entering the conversation.
The social media giant reportedly plans to introduce social tokens, reputation tokens, and creator coins to its metaverse platform, albeit using centralized infrastructure rather than blockchain; Meta is said to be trying to find “the least-regulated way” to provide a digital currency and is currently exploring alternatives to blockchain-based digital currencies.
Facebook’s rebranding to Meta signals a clear commitment to get in early on any metaverse gold rush.
At the time of its rebrand, CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that NFTs will have a role to play in the metaverse, a persistent digital universe in which people will interact using virtual avatars—and shlep hard-earned virtual goods seamlessly from one VR app to the next.
At the end of last month, Meta filed eight trademark applications for potential fintech endeavors, including blockchain, crypto, crypto exchanges and wallets.