Because Meta’s Horizon platform is inspired by the Metaverse activations in Roblox and Fortnite

Meta has invested billions of dollars in its metaverse platform, Horizon, in an effort to recreate the economies of community creators like Roblox and Fortnite Creative. Attracted by Meta’s dream field, Horizon brands and creators are building, but users are yet to arrive, at least in large numbers.

Developing the metaverse is a top priority for the company formerly known as Facebook, but it’s still in the early stages of realizing that goal. At the moment, the aforementioned Meta rivals are leading thanks to the creative economies that have grown organically within them. Marketers are already paying tens of thousands of dollars to individual Roblox and Fortnite creators to create customized virtual experiences.

Meta predicts that Horizon has the same kind of brand-builder ecosystem from day one, skipping the long growth phase of platforms like Roblox, which spent years as a kid’s game before moving forward and successfully reinventing itself as a channel for metaverse marketing. “I can’t tell you if Roblox ended up with this model by accident, or if it was all planned out,” said Margot Rodde, metaverse marketing expert and head of innovation at Mirada Studios, a TPG company. “If this was all planned, then great: they were absolute geniuses. But I think some of these things happened by accident, and now it becomes a bit of a reference for others entering the space.


One problem for Horizon is that its user traffic is generally much lower than that of its competitors. “10,000 visits is the maximum for a truly successful experience,” said Alex Chandler, founder and creative director of the Horizon Worlds design studio. Vidyuu. “There are only something like 300,000 to half a million visitors or users of the platform. Conversely, Chipotle’s Roblox “Boorito Maze” activation nearly blocked the service after more than 30,000 users attempted to access it in minutes last year.

Despite the relatively low traffic within Horizon, brands can generate millions of additional impressions from flashy VR brand activations like Horizon Worlds Wendyverse by promoting them via tweets, Instagram posts, and YouTube videos. Horizon experiences are limited to people with Meta Quest headsets, but social content promoting these experiences is more widely available.

“I know we’ve had some of the busiest worlds on the entire platform, which is super phenomenal,” said Jimmy Bennett, Wendy’s vice president of media, social media and partnerships. “For us the ability to extend that content as well and take pictures of the worlds themselves to post on some of the other Meta platforms – that’s where you can see that engagement and curiosity among people who might not be. also still be in Horizon Worlds.

Horizon’s relatively low traffic is not the result of Meta’s lack of support. In October 2021, the company launched a $ 10 million fund to help creators learn how to navigate the platform. Experienced Horizon developers told Digiday that the platform’s build tools are superior to those of the competition, in part because Horizon’s VR interface is easier to navigate than more complex programs like Unreal Engine.

“Someone I met in the community in the beginning built one of the first worlds that really impressed me, and I was like, ‘Hey, my boss wants to see your resume,'” said Tim Walker, a world producer. virtual for MediaMonks. . “So we talked on the phone and he said, ‘I don’t have any experience.'” Impressed by his work, MediaMonks nevertheless decided to hire the builder.

As Horizon becomes an established corner of the Metaverse, the relative slowness of its expansion could be a moot point. After all, acquisition, not organic growth, has been at the heart of Meta’s strategy ever since it bought Instagram in 2012. The creators of today’s metaverse are making a name for themselves within Fortnite and Roblox, but Meta could. easily pay them to make the leap to Horizon, just as the company’s courtship of famous Twitch streamers led to an explosion in viewers on Facebook Gaming last year.

If Meta continues to pump billions into Horizon development, it may only be a matter of time before Horizon’s traffic numbers rival those of Roblox and Fortnite. Brands like Wendy’s, who have collaborated frequently with Meta over the past decade, certainly believe in potential. Horizon Worlds Wendyverse’s latest expansion, Spicy Nugg Island, was released yesterday.

“Meta has just been one of our great media partners. We advertised on Facebook, Instagram, you know, a longtime relationship with those guys, “Bennett said.” We’re always looking for new and creative ways to extend this relationship. “

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