Meta’s Horizon Worlds expands to UK


Meta Platforms Inc. has announced that its social virtual reality platform Horizon Worlds will begin rolling in the United Kingdom this week on its Quest 2 headsets for users aged 18 or older.

This will mark the first expansion of the VR platform, which allows people to meet, socialise, as well as create features and explore together, outside of North America. 

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, would also roll out Horizon Worlds to more European countries this summer, it said in a June 13 statement.

The VR platform was first launched in the United States and Canada in December last year following a lengthy invite-only period. 

Apart from the launch of the UK service, Meta also announced it was adding a new setting called “Voice Mode” to give users more control over their Horizon Worlds experience. The new feature, to be introduced over the next few weeks, will allow users to choose how they hear people who are not on their friends list, including the option to not hear unwanted conversations at all. 

By default, users will hear all nearby users at the same volume, but with Voice Mode, they can easily switch to “Garbled Voices”, in which non-friends’ voices come across as unintelligible, friendly sounds.

Meta positions Horizon Worlds as a creator-friendly VR environment featuring “top tier” social world-building tools. Last month, it launched an asset library featuring a collection of pre-made items for creators.

Earlier this year, the company instituted a minimum distance between users’ avatars on the VR platform after reports of harassment, one of the thorny issues for its metaverse vision.