Meta develops Horizon’s Worlds web platform

Meta is planning to bring its Horizon Worlds social metaverse platform to the web, Meta CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth said in a tweet on Thursday. The platform’s availability on the web would be a significant step forward for the platform, which is now exclusively available on the company’s Quest VR headsets.

A web version isn’t the only one in the works

Vivek Sharma, Meta’s VP of Horizon, said this week that the company is working on bringing Horizon to mobile phones later this year and is in “early talks” about bringing it to gaming consoles. Horizon’s online release date is still unknown, and when we asked about it, Meta spokesman Iska Saric claimed there were “no timetable data to provide at this time.”

Horizon’s newly-announced compensation system for creators has been criticized, and Boz’s tweet was included in a discussion supporting it. On Tuesday, Meta said that it will take a 25% share of the remaining proportion after platform fees for Horizon purchases.

As Boz pointed out, this means that Meta would only use 25% of the Horizon web app. However, for sites with a 30% charge, such as Meta’s own Quest Store, it would take 25% of 70%. That implies Meta will take a whopping 47.5 percent of any transaction made in Horizon on a Quest VR device.

Boz argues that this rate is lower than certain other “world-building platforms” – a dig at Roblox, which has also been chastised for how it compensates creators. In a graphic depicting “the projected usage of each dollar spent on Roblox,” Roblox claims to pay creators just 28.1 percent of each dollar spent, implying that Meta’s Horizon cut, even from Quest headset purchases, seems to be smaller than Roblox’s. Meta will be taking on Roblox head-on as it expands beyond VR to platforms like mobile and the web, so this may not be the last time we hear Meta say something critical about Roblox.

Meta has also often criticized Apple for taking a 30 percent cut of many App Store transactions

“Meta has frequently targeted Apple for charging developers a 30% fee for in-app sales in the App Store — and has used small companies and artists as a scapegoat at every step,” according to Apple spokesperson Fred Sainz.

“Now Meta wants to charge much more to the same creators than any other platform.” Meta’s hypocrisy is exposed by [Meta’s] declaration. It only goes to demonstrate that, although they want to exploit Apple’s platform for free, they’re happy to rip off the innovators and small companies who use their own.”


Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.