Horizon Worlds, Meta’s social VR platform for Quest users, is expanding with alpha tests of new members-only spaces, allowing creators to manage up to 150 card-carrying members in their private worlds. Meta says it’s also gearing up to release Horizon Worlds on non-Quest devices for the first time.

Meta is now rolling out alpha access to its new members-only worlds, which aims to let creators build and cultivate a space in Horizon Worlds. Each members-only world can have up to 150 members, although only 25 concurrent visitors can gather at any given time.

“Every community develops its own norms, etiquette, and social rules over time as it fosters a unique culture,” the company says in a blogpost. “To enable that, we’ll provide the tools that allow the creators of members-only worlds to set the rules for their communities and maintain those rules for their closed spaces.”

Meta says moderation responsibilities can be shared among trusted members, so creators can better control who gets in and who’s kicked out, however the company says its Code of Conduct for Virtual Experiences is still in effect in privately owned spaces.

What’s more, the Quest-only social platform is also going to be available on the Web and mobile devices “soon”, the company says, adding that rules will be made and enforced “similarly to how mobile operating systems manage experiences on their platforms.”

As it is today, Horizon Worlds plays host to a growing number of user-generated content in addition to first-party worlds. The release of Horizon Worlds outside of Quest would represent a massive potential influx of users and user-generated content, putting it in direct competition with cross-platform social gaming titans such as Roblox and Rec Room.

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As a similar free-to-play app, Horizon Worlds offers an Avatar Store featuring premium digital outfits—very likely only a first step in the company’s monetization strategy. For now, the company says it allows creators to earn revenue from purchases people make in their worlds, which includes hardware platform fees and a Horizon Worlds fee, which Meta says is 25 percent.

In late October, Meta showed off a tempting preview of its next-gen avatars, although it’s clear there’s still a ton of work to be done to satisfy its existing userbase. Floating torsos are still very much a thing in Horizon Worlds, and that’s despite Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s insistence that full body tracking was in the works. It was too good to be true.

For now, Horizon Worlds is only available on Quest 2 headsets in the US, Canada, UK, France, Iceland, Ireland and Spain—something we hope they change well before it ushers in flatscreen users.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • ViRGiN

    That’s cool and stuff – clearly Horizon is being planned long term unlike AltSpace – but they need to open to more regions ASAP.

    • NotMikeD

      I want to publicly acknowledge and congratulate this post, which was well-reasoned and constructive, and didn’t even once devolve into you spouting your dislike for PCVR. Let’s have more of this please!

  • The Thin White Duke

    Horizon world is garbage

  • Octogod

    Step 1 – Copy “VRChat strategy”

    Step 2 – Paste

    • CIR

      See also: “Rec Room”

  • sfmike

    This is a nail in the coffin of success right here. “Code of Conduct for Virtual Experiences is still in effect in privately owned spaces.” Just as we’ve seen family friendly comedy clubs are an unfunny joke, so will this avenue of expansion. G rated spaces are of course needed where kids are playing but adults need spaces to be adult in and not have the morality police forever looking over your shoulder reporting every word or thought crime that might offend someone to Big Brother at Meta home office. When your VR social experience consist mainly of walking on eggshells so as not to offend the most fragile egos online you have a recipe for creating a place most people will ignore.

  • Foreign Devil

    Is Meta supposed to be family friendly? I tried it again last week and ventured into the hip hop recording studio. . . it was a neat concept. . of a VR recording studio and mixing board. . but the hip hop singers were throwing around the N-word and evey other derogatory term that you find in modern gangsta rap. I wouldn’t want my kid to use Horizon if it’s like that. They let that go while censoring the occasional f-word from the excellent Post Malone VR session recordings. (check them out if you haven’t seen them yet).

    • sfmike

      I’ve never heard the N-word or the use of the word Gay as a pejorative more than I have in most instances of Horizon Worlds and on Population:ONE. It’s another aspect of how hateful and divisive this country has become and as usual social media is a great amplifier of this due to the anonymity and the lack of parenting of the foul mouthed squeakers online.

      • Foreign Devil

        WHen Horizon worlds was in Beta. . you didn’t experience all that. I guess there’s not much that can be done. Especially it is anonymous now. I suspect a lot of the people throwing around the N-word are black. . if that makes any difference. But yeah I rarely venture into online VR or games. . that is one of the reasons.

        • Guest

          The use of the N-word in hiphip is so pervasive that they cannot have much hip-hop dance at the Universities in the US.

    • Sven Viking

      Horizon Worlds is supposed to be 13+ like all their VR hardware and software, but apparently you can also have 18+ worlds marked as Mature. Search for “Meta Horizon Worlds Mature and Prohibited Worlds Policy” for full details (as posting links here gets you stuck in moderation limbo).

      I guess it makes some sense to allow the same things in a virtual hip hop recording studio as a real one, but in that case it’d also make some sense to allow the same things in a virtual Post Malone concert as a real one.

  • lnpilot

    Who would want graphics like that in 2023?

    • ViRGiN

      Half of pcvr? Rec room, beat saber and gorilla tag are really no different, and they are the most popular on pcvr.

      • lnpilot

        Beat saber has way better graphics.

        • ViRGiN

          64 bits shades of red and blue, yeah.

        • A blank screen has way better graphics.
          HW is such an embarrassment and a bad, sick joke.
          And the few that DO praise it are wayyyy deep in Zuck’s pocket.

  • Sammy