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Meta Horizon Worlds’ latest feature looks like an AOL chat room

Published Jun 14th, 2023 7:31PM EDT
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Image: Meta

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Do you know what we’ve been missing in Meta Horizon Worlds? A chatroom for everyone to spam.

At least, that’s what Meta is thinking with its latest feature announcement. Today, the company rolled out the latest software release for Horizon Worlds, VR multiplayer platform. In addition to some quality-of-life improvements, the company announced a new feature called World Chat.

According to Meta, the feature will allow users to communicate by text with anyone in the same world session. So, no matter you are in the world, you’ll be able to communicate with other users without being next to them to hear their voice.

We’re rolling out a new way to meet, coordinate, and interact with people in Worlds. In addition to voice chat, you can now communicate using world chat—a public, text-based chat experience for people in the same world session. Whether you’re playing games, watching a comedy show, or meeting new friends at a concert, it’s now easier than ever to chat it up with those around you! World chat is rolling out slowly to a small number of people, and we’re continuing to bring the experience to even more of the Worlds community in the coming weeks. We hope to expand availability later this summer.

Not only will you be able to chat with everyone in the same world session, you’ll even be able to mention another user in the session as well.

People will be able to connect with or follow others participating in the chat (e.g., message, start a party) by clicking the person’s name to view their profile and inviting them to connect. People will also be able to @mention others in world chat who are in the same world. World chat also offers ease-of-use tools to make it easy to meet and interact with others—like quick replies so you can connect without having to type long messages.

The entire thing reminds me of… AOL. It reminds me of logging into AOL Instant Messenger and joining a chatroom in the days of old. I honestly think it could be great…if the internet was the way it was back in those days. Now, I imagine people will quickly start to harass each other by mentioning people in the public chat unprompted. Meta, of course, has moderation tools and moderators monitoring these things, but they can only do so much. We know how that goes.

While Meta updates its digital world, the thing I’m really interested in is the Meta Quest 3, which the company is set to release in the fall. While Apple’s headset is obviously cooler, being seven times as expensive means that Meta will keep me as a customer for at least one more generation.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.