(ETX Daily Up) – How does Meta intend to monetize its metaverse, and more specifically its Horizon Worlds application? By taxing each transaction of digital objects. With every item sold in Horizon Worlds, 47.5% of the transaction will go into Meta’s pocket. An announcement that has not failed to arouse many criticisms. Because beyond the financial aspect, this approach goes against the foundations of a decentralized web promised by web3.
Meta is gradually setting up the ecosystem of its metaverse. And one of the recurring questions is that of its sources of income. In addition to profits from targeted advertising and personal user data, Meta intends to apply two commission systems to creators and sellers of items on Horizon Worlds.
Of each item sold in the app, 30% will be donated to Meta, through the Meta Quest Store, and 25% of the remaining amount (i.e. 17.5%) to Horizon Worlds. In total, 47.5% of the sum will therefore go to Meta.
A commission that seems huge compared to other popular platforms like Decentraland (2.5% commission) or The Sandbox (5%). For its part, Meta defends itself by declaring that the share it takes is “at a fairly competitive rate on the market”.
It is common that on the various online application stores such as the Google Store or the App Store, companies grant themselves a share of around 30% of the revenue generated by the sales of applications and content. Ironically, Facebook (ex-Meta) has been complaining for many years about the taxes imposed by Apple on all applications wishing to appear in its online store. It seems that the metaverse and its possibilities have made Mark Zuckerberg’s teams change their point of view.
A voracious dam
Fred Sainz, Apple’s spokesperson, made the following statement to Marketwatch: “Meta has repeatedly attacked Apple for charging developers a 30% commission for in-app purchases in the App Store – and has used small businesses and creators as a scapegoat every time. Today, Meta seeks to charge those same creators far more than any other platform. Meta’s announcement highlights bare the company’s hypocrisy. It shows that while they seek to use Apple’s platform for free, they willingly take on creators and small businesses who use theirs.”
In addition to this war of commissions between platforms, the first impacted will be users and content creators. If a simple creation in the Horizon Worlds universe finds itself taxed at 50% (and this without even counting the various laws in force in certain countries), it will be very difficult to attract consumers.
For Meta, this could be the problem. In the world of decentralized web (or web3), Internet users will be at the heart of power and each project will allow a multitude of opportunities. By placing a barrage as voracious as this commission, Meta shows that he seems ready to fight to keep the Old World and the quasi-monopoly situations. And all this to the detriment of innovation, creators and consumers.