Meta is reportedly planning to open up its virtual reality-based social platform, Horizon Worlds, to users aged 13 to 17, as early as next month. This move comes after the company has been struggling to retain users on the platform, which was initially opened to users 18 and over in 2021. In a recent internal memo viewed by The Wall Street Journal, Meta’s Vice President of the Service, Gabriel Aul, stated that user retention is the company’s top priority for the first half of 2023, and that they hope to target teens and young adults to help revitalize the platform.
Meta has increased its goals for user growth, with the aim of reaching 500,000 monthly active users in the first half of 2023 and 1 million by the end of the year. The company is also planning to launch a 2D version of the metaverse, available on desktop and mobile devices, which could arrive in the first half of the year. However, the company has yet to confirm these plans.
As Meta continues to invest in its VR ambitions, it has added new moderation features to Horizon Worlds and started testing members-only worlds, which limit world access to specific communities. These restricted spaces could potentially be marketed to a younger user base, along with the company’s ongoing development of “personal space”, a private, virtual home for hanging out with a small group of friends on an invite-only basis.