- Meta said it's testing tools to allow creators to sell virtual products in Horizon, its metaverse platform.
- The company will charge fees of up to 47.5% of the sale price depending where the sale takes place.
- A Meta executive said the company's fees amounted to "a pretty competitive rate."
- For more stories visit Business Insider.
Meta will charge creators fees of up to 47.5% to sell virtual wares in its metaverse – significantly more than Apple charges developers on its App Store.
In a blog post Monday, Meta said it's testing virtual sales inside its metaverse platform Horizon Worlds. It said creators will be able to sell things like fashion accessories for users' avatars and exclusive access to parts of their customized virtual worlds.
Meta and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have previously criticised Apple for charging developers a 30% fee for in-app purchases via the App Store. Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post in November that Meta was making changes to help metaverse creators evade Apple's App Store fee.
He said: "As we build for the metaverse, we're focused on unlocking opportunities for creators to make money from their work. The 30% fees that Apple takes on transactions make it harder to do that, so we're updating our subscriptions product so now creators can earn more."
Meta charges a platform fee of 30% for sales made on Meta Quest, its virtual reality system, which was formerly known as Oculus. On top of that, Horizon Worlds, Meta's metaverse system, will charge a 25% sales fee.
This means Meta will take a cut of up to 47.5% from the sale price, leaving the seller with 52.5%.
A Meta spokesperson confirmed to Insider that the math was correct.
"If a creator sells an item for $1.00, then the Meta Quest Store fee would be $0.30 and the Horizon Platform fee would be $0.17 (25% of the remainder), leaving $0.53 for the Creator before any applicable taxes," the spokesperson said.
They continued: "Over time, we plan to bring Horizon Worlds to more platforms and so the platform fee won't always be going to Meta. As Horizon Worlds rolls out to more platforms like mobile, we expect those platforms to charge their own fee. The Horizon Worlds fee which is 25 percent of the remainder would be applied after any relevant hardware platform fee has been applied."
Vivek Sharma, Meta's VP of Horizon, told The Verge: "We think it's a pretty competitive rate in the market. We believe in the other platforms being able to have their share."
Meta announced in October last year it was rebranding from Facebook to shift its focus from social media to so-called "metaverse" technology — a future vision of the internet which is accessed through immersive technologies such as VR.
The company said Monday that only a "handful" of creators would be trialling the virtual sales feature for now. A Meta spokesperson declined to give exact numbers when asked by Insider.
Meta's Monday blog said in-world sales will be available to users in the US and Canada aged over 18.