Facebook Offering Money to Join Its VR Community

by Emily Jacobson

We all know Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has more money than God. Apparently he’s willing to part with it in order for you to come be his friend. In a fairly unorthodox move last week, Facebook announced the creation of a $10 million fund to “support creators building content inside of Horizon Worlds”, the company’s virtual-reality (VR) based social platform that it is trying to turn into the next big thing and perhaps its first step into trying to get in the pole position for the creation of the eventual metaverse. 

Augmented Exposure Therapy

If the name Horizon Worlds doesn’t sound familiar to you, it’s probably because it was called Facebook Horizons until a couple weeks ago. The company gave no indication of a reason for the name change, nor does it say how it plans on sharing the wealth from that $10 million fund, or in what sort of time frame. The press release did include three ways that users of Horizon Worlds can benefit from the new fund, however. They include: Community Competitions: Later this year, we’ll launch a series of creator competitions to reward people building the very best worlds in Horizon and who are taking advantage of the tools we offer. We’ll offer up to $10K in cash prizes for the first-, second-, and third-place winners, and we’ll share more details on these competitions soon. You can sign up here to be notified when we launch our first competition.

Accelerator Program: We’ll also continue with our Creator Accelerator Program, an application-based initiative designed to give people from diverse backgrounds an advanced crash course in Horizon Worlds creation. The Creator Accelerator Program also gives people a unique opportunity to attain the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a professional environment, including a session we held that focused on building more inclusive worlds. We just wrapped up the pilot class of this program, and we’ll begin accepting applications next month for an expanded Creator Accelerator Program set to kick off in early 2022.Funding For Developers: Last but not least, our product teams have been working closely with a handful of external developers to explore the range of possibilities for content in Horizon Worlds. 

Earlier this year, we worked with developers on the theme of cooperative mini-games that are easy to learn and hard to master for two to four players. If you’re a developer, studio, or creator and you’re interested in partnering with us for funded opportunities to create experiences for Horizon in a particular theme, you can sign-up to learn more about the next set of themes here.

Fierce competition
The fact of the matter is that while there are an infinite number of people out there creating content on the likes of YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, getting them to transfer those ideas to the VR environment is not so simple. Especially because Facebook is not first to the market as it was in the social media game. The likes of VRChat, Roblox, and Rec Room are already open for business and thriving.