Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg is gradually expanding the accessibility of the ‘Meta Horizon Worlds’ platform for smartphones, from limited to virtual reality (VR) headsets. Launched in December 2021, Meta Horizon Worlds is a 3D avatar-based social platform for VR that offers a metaverse experience to its users. By making Horizon Worlds accessible via smartphones, Zuckerberg aims to bring the metaverse experience to more people around the world. Meta provides access to Horizon Worlds via desktop and is part of this service extension.
Currently, the Horizon World platform is only available in Canada, France, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, the 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 community members.
“The Metaverse should be available to everyone, no matter what device they use. 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 realizing that vision and opening up the experience to more people,” Meta said in an official post on September 14.
In 2021, Zuckerberg changed the umbrella brand for Facebook’s family of social networking apps to Meta, focusing on aligning the company’s branding and future with the metaverse.
Despite the major rebrand, Meta has been reporting losses in its Metaverse division since launch.
Reality Labs, the metaverse-focused division of Meta, lost a whopping $13.7 billion (approximately Rs. 1,12,200 crore) last year.
In its latest earnings call, Meta didn’t disclose exactly how much its Metaverse-related unit Reality Labs lost this quarter. However, the company said its Metaverse unit expects more losses in the near future.
According to a study commissioned by Meta earlier this year, Metaverse could contribute as much as $760 billion (approximately Rs. 62,36,088 crore) or about 2.4 percent to the US annual gross domestic product (GDP) by 2035.
It’s only natural that Meta would want to make up for its losses at this point and therefore expand Metaverse-related features and services like the Horizon Worlds to be accessible via smartphones and desktops.
For the time being, the rollout of Horizon World to smartphones and desktops is gradual.
“We’re currently testing things out, so you may not be able to access Worlds on mobile and web yet. Early access will gradually become available to more people as we gather feedback and develop the experience. We will have more to share in the coming weeks and months,” the company’s post said.