Meta has announced the expansion of its 3D social platform, Horizon Worlds, from its exclusive VR environment to mobile and web platforms. This move signifies the company's ambition to make the metaverse more accessible to a broader audience.
Initial Rollout and Features
The initial phase of this expansion allows a limited number of users to access the game Super Rumble via the Meta Quest app on Android, with an iOS version expected in the coming weeks. Additionally, early access to Horizon Worlds is available through any web browser.
A Vision for an Inclusive Metaverse
Meta's decision to bring Horizon Worlds to mobile and web platforms aligns with its vision of a metaverse that is accessible to everyone, irrespective of the device they use. While the Quest headsets offer a deeply immersive metaverse experience, Meta believes in providing multiple entry points to the metaverse. This expansion is seen as a significant step towards realizing that vision and making the metaverse experience available to a larger audience.
The company has emphasized the importance of user control over their experiences. The mobile and web versions of Horizon Worlds will incorporate the same safety features present in the VR version, including specific protections for teenage users. Furthermore, several controls, such as mute and pause, have been optimized for a smoother experience on mobile devices and computers.
Still Showing Commitment to the Metaverse
Earlier this month, I reported on Meta's shift into an AI company, seemingly at the expense of its metaverse goals.
Meta is a company focused on developing the metaverse. However, that was in 2021 when the metaverse seemed like the next big thing on the tech horizon. While AI has been at the forefront of peoples imagination of a technology-infused future, its rapid rise over the last year was not as easily predictable.
Meta's all-in approach to the metaverse was already on the rocks before AI became mainstream. The company spent billions of dollars pushing its metaverse goals, with little in return to show. So much so that CEO Mark Zuckerberg was on the ropes and the future was open to debate.
However, with announcements such as the expanded Horizon Worlds platform, Meta is highlighting that it is still working on the metaverse. It is clear AI is now the driver for the company, so it will be interesting to see how much commitment Meta will show the metaverse in the coming years.