Meta’s Social VR Platform Horizon Worlds Hits 300,000 Users

Facebook has bet its future on virtual reality and the metaverse, renaming Meta and spending billions a year to build hardware and software that goes beyond traditional social media. But the company has, at least so far, shared little with the public about the performance of its early bets.

Meta’s most hyped bet right now is a social VR platform for the Quest headset called Horizon Worlds. It was recently featured in Meta’s Super Bowl commercial, and Zuckerberg called it “the heart of our vision for the Metaverse” during the company’s latest earnings call. During a virtual Bare-Handed Meta earlier this week – yes, that of the Metamates — the company’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, gave employees a never-before-seen update on Horizon’s user growth.

He said that since rolling out Horizon Worlds to all Quest users in the United States and Canada in early December, its monthly user base has grown 10-fold to 300,000 people, according to an employee who heard the comment. Meta spokesperson Joe Osborne confirmed the stat and said it included users of Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues, a separate app for attending live events in VR that uses the same avatars. and basic mechanisms. The number does not include Horizon working rooms, a VR conference experience which is based on an invitation system.

Prior to its rollout in December, Horizon Worlds was in private beta for creators to test out its world-building tools. In the same way as the Roblox game platform or that of Microsoft Minecraft works, Horizon Worlds lets users create custom environments to hang out and play games as legless avatars. Meta announced this week that 10,000 separate worlds have been built in Horizon Worlds to date, and its private Facebook group for creators now has over 20,000 members.

Given that it’s only been a few months since Horizon Worlds was released widely, it’s too early to tell if the platform’s rapid growth will continue or if it will be able to retain users over time. Monthly users of social products are always higher than daily users, which Cox did not disclose to employees. And a surge in sales of the Quest headset during the holiday season has certainly helped spark interest in people trying out Horizon.

Meta still hasn’t revealed how many Quest headsets it has sold to date, making it difficult to gauge how successful Horizon is against the underlying hardware platform it runs on. But several third-party estimates peg sales at over 10 million for the Quest. Zuckerberg recently said that Meta will release a version of Horizon for mobile phones later this year to “bring early metaverse experiences to more surfaces beyond VR.”

“So while the deepest and most immersive experiences will be in VR, you’ll also be able to access worlds from your Facebook or Instagram apps, and likely more over time,” the CEO said on Meta. last earnings call. Bringing Horizon to mobile would position it even more as a competitor to Rec Room, a well-funded social gaming app with 37 million monthly users across game consoles, mobile phones, and VR.

Even though Horizon Worlds isn’t making Meta money just yet, the pressure is on for it to succeed, especially given the company’s stock plunge as investors question its costly Metaverse push.

Beyond fixing content moderation issues and VR underage users, Meta needs to make Horizon reliable enough for millions of people to use. Many people have not been able to join a recent foo fighters concert organized in the halls after the Super Bowl, and Horizon has yet to introduce ways for creators to make money. But if its early user growth is any indicator, Horizon has a chance to be big.


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