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Meta tests members-only spaces in Horizon Worlds metaverse environment

Private spaces could offer sports industry ability to build digital community and reward programmes.

1 February 2023 Steve McCaskill
Meta tests members-only spaces in Horizon Worlds metaverse environment


  • Members-only spaces are currently in alpha testing
  • NBA and UFC are already on Horizon Worlds

Meta has started testing members-only environments in its Horizon Worlds, paving the way for rights holders, content creators and brands to establish private community spaces in the metaverse platform.

Horizon Worlds is a virtual reality (VR) social universe developed for the Meta Quest headset, designed for gatherings, events, games and other digital experiences. So far, more than 10,000 public ‘worlds’ have been built on the platform.

Members-only worlds will expand on the personal spaces recently introduced and allow creators to build and manage a curated experience for a selected number of users. Owners can handpick which members can be admitted to the world, with the alpha test currently limited to 150 total users and 25 concurrent visitors.

Meta will provide community management and moderation tools, while all users will have the ability to report behaviour that violates the code of conduct.

‘With full control over who has access to visit their worlds, creators can consistently offer a positive experience where people can build connections and foster a strong, thriving community,’ Meta said in a blog post.

‘Our goal is to put design in the creators’ hands so that they can fully craft the experience they want to offer others.

‘During this alpha test, we’ll select a small group of trusted creators to partner closely with to build and obtain feedback on the design and moderation of members-only worlds so that we can further iterate and improve the product.

‘We’re excited to give creators a new way to foster safe and thriving communities and empower them to effectively govern their own closed spaces. The test will help ensure that we’ve set up creators with the tools they need to succeed and users see clear benefits before we consider expanding the availability of members-only worlds to more creators.’

SportsPro says…

Facebook’s rebranding as Meta reflects the company’s desire to be synonymous with the myriad of technologies and digital environments that will eventually comprise the metaverse. It hopes that by cultivating this public perception, and being first to market with widely accessible hardware and software, it will have a permanent seat at the table during the internet’s next evolution.

Horizon Worlds is a key part of this mission and Meta is recruiting numerous sports properties to help reinforce this vision. The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) are but two organisations to get involved, offering live broadcasts in VR.

Members-only spaces will help rights holders foster communities that deepen engagement or provide a vehicle for special events. Fans of a particular athlete could be invited to a virtual meet-and-great, for example, or perhaps there will be an exclusive showing of a live event.

These community initiatives and rewards could be tied to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), another technology that many believe will be a foundational building block of Web 3.0.


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