Mark Zuckerberg's next big focus is the monetization of the metaverse. In a blog post, the Meta CEO announced that they are testing functionality that will make it possible for creators to sell virtual goods online worlds built on Horizon.
“The ability to sell virtual items and access to things inside the worlds is a new part of [the] e-commerce equation overall,” Zuckerberg said.
The latest evolution of Meta's metaverse will be welcome news for creators as they look for ways to make money from their online creations. The massive boom in interest and sales of NFTs has shown there is a real demand for virtual goods.
Meta will be testing with only a few users at first, but they are sure to roll it out to everyone quickly as interest in the metaverse and how to profit from it increases. Many companies are rushing into the metaverse space, and some analysts estimate it will be worth over $8 trillion by 2030.
Meta is working on allowing users to sell almost anything digital, be in accessories such as virtual clothing or services, and access to parts of the online world.
At present, users will only be able to use the virtual items in the worlds they are created, with plans to allow users to transfer items between worlds. Meta will also be paying users bonuses based on how long users spend in their virtual worlds, plus on certain goals reached and features used.
Meta will take a significant 25% to 47.5% cut of any virtual item or experience sold.
“If a creator sells an item for $1.00, then the Meta Quest Store fee would be $0.30, and the Horizon Platform fee would be $0.17 (25% of the remainder), leaving $0.53 for the Creator before any applicable taxes,” the spokesperson said.
The company is calling the above rate competitive, but many creators might not like the idea of giving away almost half of the profit for their creative work. On the other hand, investors will appreciate the healthy profit share taken by the social media giant.
Horizon Worlds in Brief
Horizon is Meta's big push into the metaverse and is, in its simplest form, a virtual reality world that currently is free to access and allows users to build and interact with their own virtual worlds.
It is currently only available in the USA and Canada.
Meta is sure to be at the forefront of the metaverse expansion in the hopes that users move there from its aging Facebook platform.
If the metaverse lives up to the hype, many of us will be using the metaverse in the future in some share or form in our daily lives. Be that interacting with brands, going to virtual concerts or decking out our virtual avatar in the latest fashion. The education space could be revolutionized with virtual classrooms accessible from anywhere in the world.
Many see unlimited potential for the metaverse in the coming years because it is not limited by physical space and can expand indefinitely. This endless supply could mean unlimited eCommerce, but it could also mean there will be many holding useless empty spaces that no one visits.
We might also witness a boom-bust similar to the tech bubble of the 2000s, where the real winners only appear years later. Either way, it is not something online merchants can ignore.
The new gold rush of the web3 internet will bring many winners and losers over the coming years, and time will tell who will be the ones selling the shovels. Meta surely hopes to be one of them.