After years of waiting, the Horizon Worlds beta is opening to anyone in the US and Canada, with no invite required.
Meta announced the change today, which moves the beta from an invite-only system to a public beta with no invite requirement. Anyone who is in the US and Canada and over 18 can download Horizon Worlds and try it out from today.
UploadVR asked Meta for clarification on how the 18+ age requirement will be verified, to which a spokesperson responded: “When you log into Horizon Worlds with Facebook, you’ll be able to use the app in VR if your age on Facebook is over 18.”
Horizon Worlds is the social hub and creation tool created by Meta as part of the wider Horizon brand, which also includes Horizon Venues and Horizon Workrooms. It was announced all the way back in 2019, then known as Facebook Horizon, and displayed similar social, world-building functionality as VR apps like VRChat and Rec Room.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has emphasized Horizon Worlds’ priority within the company’s VR/AR efforts, hoping it might start the ‘social fabric’ of VR. Likewise, Meta Consulting CTO John Carmack has stated that he wants the next iteration of the company’s annual Connect conference to be held inside Horizon apps.
We first tried Horizon Worlds at Oculus Connect 6 in September 2019. A Closed Alpha began in March 2020, followed by a transition to an invite-only closed beta in August. It was then that we were able to go hands-on with Horizon Worlds for a second time, which left us feeling that the app had good foundation but didn’t necessarily feel like the full picture of Meta’s social VR puzzle.
In October, Meta rebranded Facebook Horizon to Horizon Worlds and announced a $10 million fund to encourage Horizon creators, despite still being in closed beta at the time.
Now, more than two years after it was announced, the beta will be open to those in the US and Canada. There is no word on other regions at the moment, but expect to hear more as the open beta progresses towards (hopefully) a full launch in the future.
Horizon Worlds beta is open to anyone aged 18+ in the United States and Canada from today on the Quest and Rift platforms. Support for the original Quest 1 will end January 13, 2022.