Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg is gradually expanding the accessibility of the ‘Meta Horizon Worlds’ platform to smartphones from being limited to virtual reality (VR) headsets. Launched in December 2021, Meta Horizon Worlds is a 3D avatar-based social platform for VR that offers metaverse experience to its users. By bringing accessibility to Horizon Worlds via smartphones, Zuckerberg is aiming to bring the metaverse experience to more people around the world. Meta is allowing access to Horizon Worlds via desktop as well as part of this service expansion.
Currently, the Horizon World platform is only available in Canada, France, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, UK, and the US. Meta’s plan to launch the platform in other locations, including India, remains unclear for now. People in eligible locations can download the Horizon Worlds app, create their avatars, and enter the platform’s virtual ecosystem, where they can play games and interact with other members of the community.
“The metaverse should be available to everyone—no matter what device they’re on. And while Quest headsets are the most immersive way to access the metaverse, we believe there should be multiple entry points. Bringing Worlds to more surfaces is a step toward delivering on that vision and opening up the experience to more people,” Meta said in an official post on September 14.
In 2021, Zuckerberg rebranded the umbrella brand for the family of social networking apps from Facebook to Meta, zeroing-in on making the company’s branding and future in line with the metaverse.
Despite the big rebranding, Meta has been reporting losses in its metaverse division ever since its launch.
Reality Labs, the metaverse-focussed division of Meta, lost a whopping $13.7 billion (roughly Rs. 1,12,200 crore) last year.
In its latest earnings call, Meta did not disclose exactly how much did its metaverse-related unit Reality Labs lost this quarter. The company did, however, say that its metaverse unit is expecting to see more losses in the coming times.
As per a study Meta commissioned earlier this year, metaverse could contribute as much as $760 billion (roughly Rs. 62,36,088 crore) or about 2.4 percent to the US annual gross domestic product (GDP) by 2035.
It is only natural that Meta wishes to balance its losses at this time and is hence expanding metaverse-related features and services like the Horizon Worlds to be accessible via smartphones and desktops.
For now, Horizon World’s rollout to smartphones and desktop is gradual.
“We’re testing things out for now, so you may not have access to Worlds on mobile and Web just yet. Early access will roll out to more people gradually as we gather feedback and evolve the experience. We’ll have more to share in the weeks and months ahead,” the company’s post noted.