Creators at Meta’s Horizon Worlds cannot create events anymore thus making it much more difficult for them to build communities on the platform. The tech company is reportedly making life harder for creators of its metaverse.
Creators at Meta’s Horizon Worlds
Meta no longer will allow creators making use of its Horizon Worlds social VR playscape to make dedicated events, the company recently announced as part of the v109 update notes on Tuesday by the platform. This is a surprising shutdown of a feature that some creators had hoped would someday see improvements.
In March, a story about Horizon Worlds creators who run an in-VR comedy club was published by The Verge known as the Unknown Theater, and how they organized a VR protest over the treatment of events on the platform by Meta. The protestors, however, took issue with the changes that made community-organized events much more challenging to find, which poses a problem for the regularly-scheduled shows of the club, and the way that Meta gave more prominence to high-profile events that are featuring big-name stars such as Carrie Underwood.
What Creators on the Platform Has To Say
“It’s super frustrating and disheartening, is the way I would put it as a host,” a stand-up comedian who hosts his own comedy open mics in Horizon known as Richard Slixton, revealed to The Verge for that piece. “You go through all this effort to build the world. That takes hours and hours, and you’ve got to learn new skills. Then, you’ve got to go through the effort of putting the event together. Most creators, they put the event together, they won’t even get anybody there because there’s no way to get noticed at all.”
Well, that is about to get a whole lot more difficult, because creators on the platform as of Tuesday, cannot make events. Existing events on the platform that are scheduled to take place after Tuesday however can still happen, and some “official events” (presumably the ones backed up by Meta) will still be promoted, but users can’t make new ones on the platform.
Meta’s Announcement of the Recent Event and Change
Meta is right now positioning the change as the shutdown of a feature that does not get to meet up with its standards. “As we’ve refocused our development in Worlds toward improving the overall quality of the platform, we’ve taken time to also revisit some legacy features that aren’t quite living up to our renewed quality standards,” Meta in its v109 update notes wrote. “As part of this effort, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue the event creation tool in Worlds.” In a Discord post, Meta also noted that “it’s clear that our current events system isn’t living up to the needs of our community at large.”
The Impact of the Platforms Change on Creators
The change to events on the platform will make things even more challenging for creators that are investing in the metaverse vision of Meta. That road is already hard enough, given the fact that you can only make use of Horizon Worlds with the Quest VR headsets of Meta(Meta is currently working on web and mobile versions, but they’re not there as of yet) and the struggles of the platform to retain the relatively few users that it has. Even the Unknown Theater in question is broadening its horizons. Simon Josh Abramovitch, which is one of the co-owners of the club, tells The Verge that while Unknown Theater plans to continue with hosting shows in Horizon Worlds, it is also expanding into Flipside Studio, which is a platform that allows creators to livestream VR shows.
Meta Is Still Committed To the Metaverse
But despite just how things may seem at the moment, Meta is still committed to the metaverse. And although Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has proclaimed 2023 to be the “year of efficiency,” the company stated back in April that it expects operating losses for its Reality Labs division to increase year over year in the year 2023.
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