Meta begins testing members-only worlds in Horizon Worlds

Meta begins testing members-only worlds in Horizon Worldsits social virtual reality platform, which will allow users to create curated worlds for a select community of users.

These members-only worlds will provide a kind of middle ground for creators on the platform. You can currently create public worlds for many people, and the company is also testing what it calls personal spaces, which function like a private home in virtual reality where you have tight control over visitors. Members-only worlds, on the other hand, are limited to 150 members and 25 concurrent visitors.

Meta suggests that the new members-only areas could be useful for groups like book clubs, gaming groups, a place for VIP creator supporters, or a place to hang out with friends. “With full control over who has access to their worlds, creators can consistently deliver a positive experience where people can connect and foster a strong and thriving community,” Meta writes in a blog post attributed to the Oculus Blog. “Our goal is to put design in the hands of creators so they can fully create the experience they want to give to others.” To me, it all looks like Facebook groups or Discord servers but for virtual reality.

Unfortunately, you may not have access to members-only worlds just yet, as they will launch first in a limited beta with a “small group of trusted creators”. Meta says it’s keeping the test group small to “get feedback on the design and moderation of members-only worlds so we can further iterate and improve the product.”

In his blog post, Meta buried potentially important information about the future of Horizon: it will be available on the web and on mobile “soon”. We know that the web and mobile versions of Horizon were in the works, with mobile originally slated to release last year. But later that year, the company embarked on a “quality lockdown” to make Horizon Worlds better, which seems to have delayed the launch on new platforms. We asked Meta if they could share specific details about the web and mobile versions.

Launch Horizon Worlds on more platforms will make it much more accessible; for now, it’s exclusively available on Meta’s Quest VR headsets. And recent new features like better moderation features and a more logical skip button show that Meta is committed to improving the platform. But it’s going to have to be awesome to succeed against other popular virtual social spaces like Robloxand as long as I don’t know if Horizon Worlds Isn’t there yet, being able to create a members only area for your friends seems like a great step forward.


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