Meta to revamp Horizon Metaverse app, plans to open for teen use as soon as March: Report

February 10, 2023

By Anjali Kochhar

Facebook’s Meta will allow younger audience to sign up for its Meta’s Horizon Worlds, a report by The Wall Street Journal hints. To date, only adults 18 and older can sign up for that.

Meta is reportedly opening up its virtual reality social experience to younger players aged 13 to 17 as soon as this March as part of its efforts to grow Horizon’s numbers and improve user retention. 

According to the article in The Journal, it saw the information in a memo entitled “Horizon 2023 Goals and Strategy” in which Gabriel Aul, Meta’s VP for the VR experience, outlined its goals for the first half of 2023.

In the memo, Aul reportedly wrote that these younger users are the “true digital citizens of the metaverse” and that Meta needs to ensure that it serves them for Horizon to succeed.

Meta spokesperson Joe Osborne told the publication that “[t]eens are already spending time in a variety of VR experiences on Quest, and [the company wants] to ensure that [it] can provide them with a great experience in Horizon Worlds as well, with age-appropriate tools and protections in place.”

In 2021, The Journal reported that the company’s own researchers found Instagram “harmful for a sizable percentage” of teens, particularly teenage girls. Meta paused its work on an Instagram for Kids as a result, and it has also launched a bunch of teen safety features for the app since then. It also automatically limited triggering or sensitive content for new users under 16.

The company is aiming to release 20 new Horizon experiences built by third-party studios in an effort to win more people over, as well. Plus, it’s apparently hoping to make the VR game a lot more accessible by rolling out a web version for mobile and desktop by June.

Meta teased the web version of the experience in the past, but the company missed its initial launch target last year. This year, the company is not only hoping to launch Horizon’s web version within the next few months, it’s also looking to have as many as 150,000 monthly cross-screen Horizon users in the first half of 2023.

About the author

Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.

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