Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook, has begun testing tools for selling digital assets and experiences within its virtual reality platform Horizon Worlds, a major aspect of its aim to build a metaverse, the company announced on Monday.
Meta stated in a statement that the tools will be available to a selected group of users who are producing virtual classes, games, and fashion accessories on the company’s immersive platform, which is accessible via VR headsets.
Those selected users will be able to sell their accessories or offer paid access to specialised digital spaces they have developed using a single tool, according to the company.
The social media giant is also experimenting with a “creator bonus” scheme for a select group of Horizon Worlds users in the United States, in which it will pay participants each month for using new features that the company launches.
“We want there to just be tons of awesome worlds, and in order for that to happen there needs to be a lot of creators who can support themselves and make this their job,” Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a conversation with early adopters, held inside Horizon Worlds using avatars.
The Facebook parent company, which last year changed its name to Meta, has made significant investments in virtual and augmented reality to reflect its new bet on the metaverse, a futuristic concept of a network of virtual environments accessed via various devices where users can work, socialise, and play.
Land, buildings, avatars, and even names can be bought and sold as non-fungible tokens, or blockchain-based virtual assets, in which the company competes with up-and-coming virtual world competitors. Last year, the market for these items skyrocketed, with sales fetching hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Horizon Worlds, a huge VR social network, and Horizon Venues, a virtual event platform, are early iterations of metaverse-like spaces from Meta.