Facebook is getting closer to building a “metaverse” virtual super universe when it opens its virtual reality avatar app to all users in the US.
According to CNBC, Facebook announced on December 9 that it is opening Horizon Worlds, a avatar virtual reality world , to all users 18 years of age and older in the US and Canada. The Horizon Worlds beta was launched last year, selecting Oculus virtual reality (VR) headset users to send invitations to. However, with the new announcement , users will no longer need an invitation to experience the virtual world.
The wider launch of Horizon Worlds is an important step for the company. The technology US giant changed its new name Meta in October 2021, based on the science fiction term metaverse, to describe its vision for a new direction of operation, focusing on the virtual world.
In Horizon Worlds, users can create legless avatars to roam in the virtual world. There, they can play games and interact with other users’ avatars. Facebook acquired Oculus for $2 billion in 2014, but the company has struggled since then to gain market traction beyond its niche audience.
In July 2021, Facebook announced the creation of a group dedicated to working on the metaverse. Two months later, head of hardware Andrew “Boz” Bosworth was named chief technology officer of the company, starting in 2022. Facebook announced its third-quarter 2021 earnings results, announcing it would be the company’s chief technology officer. Turning the hardware division of Reality Labs into a separate reporting segment from Q4 2021.
In October 2021, Facebook said it would spend about $10 billion over the next year developing technologies that build the metaverse . “Our hope is that within the next decade, metaverse will reach one billion users, host hundreds of billions of dollars in digital commerce, and support millions of creators and developers with jobs.” , CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote.