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Meta announces its VR social platform Horizon has accrued 300,000 users

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, has gone all-in with the metaverse and virtual reality. The platform is already seeing growth in the segment.

If you had been a naysayer about the allure and practicality of Meta’s Horizon Worlds, where virtual humans devoid of legless roam, the company is here to say you were wrong. With billions of dollars sunk into the project, Horizon World has welcomed 300,000 users, a growth of more than ten times.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg had referred to the social VR platform that you can access through a Quest headset as core to his company’s metaverse ambitions. It is serious enough for Meta to feature it in its Super Bowl ad.

Meta has now given updates on the performance of Horizon Worlds during an appropriately formatted virtual meeting with staff. Chris Cox, Meta’s chief product officer, revealed that the VR platform, opened to users from Canada and the US last December, has grown to 300,000 participants. This figure includes users of Horizon Worlds and the Horizon Venues app used to participate in live events hosted in the VR settings. However, Cox’s report excludes numbers for Horizon Workrooms for holding virtual conferences.

Horizon Worlds had been in private beta before December, and creators were invited to test its offered tools. You can build your own stuff or customize your environment in the virtual reality space. You can also socialize with other people through their avatar and play games, all the while gliding about on the upper-half bodies.

In the few months Meta has let in more people, Horizon Worlds users have built 10,000 separate worlds. A private Facebook group meant for creators has ballooned to more than 20,000 members, indicating surging interest.

However, despite the interesting numbers posted by Meta, commentators are being cautious about declaring the venture a success yet. There is no reason why the platform should not be growing right now, with the buzz created by the launch yet to die out. The real test will come later when Meta has to attract users.

Moreover, with the sales of the Quest headset bumped by the holiday/gifting period, it is normal to see a spike in the number of sign-ups and people testing out the VR social platform. Also, it is to be noted that Meta did not disclose monthly active users (MAUs) or daily active users (DAUs), which will even be smaller.

One thing that makes it difficult to predict or project growth is Meta’s refusal to declare how many Quest headsets it has sold. The figure would have been handy because the hardware lets Horizon Worlds users into the platform. However, unofficial estimates put the total figure at 10 million. The situation may be different when Meta makes good its promise to release a Horizon smartphone version so more people can have a taste of the metaverse without investing in a headset.

As promised by Zuckerberg, users would be able to enter Horizon Worlds through Facebook or Instagram apps. At that stage, Horizon World will be competing with Rec Room, where people socialize through a plethora of devices.

Despite being in its early days, Meta is already facing challenges with keeping the metaverse safe. There are already reports of harassment, and some measures have been implemented, like creating a personal bubble around each user that limits interaction in intimate situations.

Meta also has to find a way for the creators to make money or risk them abandoning the platform.

Written by HackerVibes

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