Next Gen Creator Economy — Meta’s Horizon Worlds

Murukesh Jayaraj
5 min readMar 13, 2022

The creator economy has seen a record growth in 2021 alone and it is prudent that big tech platforms are fighting to keep creators on their platform in an effort to drive engagement. The creator economy refers to the numerous businesses built by independent creators, from vloggers to influencers to writers, to monetize themselves, their skills, or their creations. It also encompasses the companies that serve these creators, from content creation tools to analytics platforms.

With the metaverse emerging as the newest, many of us have this one question in common. What it is to be a creator in the metaverse? Meta’s Horizon Worlds is considered, one of the fastest growing VR platforms. Here I have tried to put something that would interest you to become a creator for the VR worlds.

What is Horizon World’s?

Meta’s Horizon Worlds is a social VR platform that allows users to explore virtual worlds in an interactive and immersive manner, engaging in both content creation and consumption. In addition to navigable VR spaces, it has ready-to-use VR building components like code blocks, sounds, and animation effects to help content creators.

In fact, Horizon worlds seems to be the biggest bet for Meta right now. Its Quest headset enables you to access their VR platform seamlessly. Meta recently announced that, over 10,000 separate worlds have been built in Horizon Worlds to date.

Who are Creators in Horizon Worlds?

Horizon Worlds lets people build custom VR spaces to hang out and play games together with coworkers and friends. Inside Meta Horizon Worlds, a creator is any user who uses the platform’s tools to develop original content. Regular users can navigate worlds as it is, while creators can discover more functionalities using Build Mode. The creator of a world can:

  • Publish and unpublish the world.
  • Add and remove collaborators to build the world together.
  • Duplicate the world and everything in it.
  • Delete the world.

Creators are essentially VR world designers with a degree of technical skills and will also own the intellectual property rights to the content they create. Horizon shall use the content to improve and provide its services, which is how Meta aims to respect and protect creator rights. There is a dedicated creator portal for you to refer and jump start. You may also search for some good YouTube videos to get started.

Experience VR with Quest 2

You will need a Quest 2 Headset to build and experience things. Quest is an all-in-one VR system, that offers multiplayer games to unique social experiences to joining up with friends at a live show or instructor-led workout. Quest provides you new opportunities to meet and connect with others in VR.

Building blocks of Horizon Worlds

There are several building blocks for creators, through which you can create your VR experience:

Code blocks — Code blocks are a collection of ready-to-use code snippets and scripts that allow you to define automated events in VR. For example, users can trigger an event to take place when a user first enters a VR world.

Gizmos — Gizmos are pre-built object and avatar properties that users can associate with the different elements of a VR world. Players have a Spawn Point gizmo to control where they first land or ‘spawn,’ a Text gizmo to superimpose text on VR objects, a Portal gizmo to define spots where players can teleport, and much more.

Sounds — Meta Horizon Worlds includes three types of pre-built sound effects — event-specific effects, background sounds, and music. Creators can define specific properties to customize the sound experience such as the pitch and the distance at which a sound will be heard.

VR physics — Physics effects in Meta Horizon Worlds allows users to create objects that behave like real-world items. These features let you define gravity, object density, bounciness, friction, the ability to grab objects, and other such naturalized interactions. You can also select materials with physics properties like hardwood, ice, and others.

Animation effects — Using the tools in Meta Horizon Worlds, you can make an object move around and record the movement as a custom animation. The animation effects can be slowed down, accelerated, and controlled in other ways.

These building blocks allow you to quickly create / deploy new immersive experiences in VR.

Bring others into your own world

You can add collaborators to your VR space. Collaborators will have the same rights and privileges as the original creator — but will be unable to add or remove new collaborators. If at any point of time you delete your Facebook account, the worlds you have created will persist and will be transferred to a collaborator.

Why become a creator?

As per a recent publication, Meta’s private Facebook group for creators now numbers over 20,000 members and Horizon worlds monthly user base has grown by a factor of 10x — to 300,000 people now though it was rolled out to Quest users in US and Canada only last December.

The company has also launched a $10 million USD Creator Fund to support designers and developers working on projects in Meta Horizon Worlds, and also supplied its own code of conduct and safety policies.

Wrap up

Though it looks like a lot of fun, its easy said than done. You will have a lot of challenges to face. Creating responsible AI is the biggest challenge that the world is facing now, and Meta is no different. They are still solving problems with content moderation, and tackling underage VR users, Meta is carrying a huge responsibility on its shoulders to make Horizon a reliable and safe platform for millions to use. We also expect Horizon to introduce new ways for creators to make money. Horizon has a shot to potentially grow big.

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Murukesh Jayaraj

I am a techno-functional personality with well-honed skills in Business Analysis, Architecture, RPA, Team Leadership, Design Thinking & Application Development.