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Meta Signs on to New ‘Metaverse Standards Forum’ to Establish Critical Interoperability Standards

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Meta Signs on to New 'Metaverse Standards Forum' to Establish Critical Interoperability Standards

As part of its evolving metaverse vision, Meta has been keen to point out that no single company will ‘own’ the metaverse space, and singularly dictate what can happen in these new virtual worlds.

Make no mistake, Meta would like to control as much of the metaverse push as it can, and it’s already well-advanced here, through the sales of its VR headsets and the development of its Horizon Worlds VR space. But in order for the metaverse to be a truly inclusive, immersive, transformative experience, a range of providers will need to tap in, and facilitate their own elements and spaces, much like the internet as we currently know it.

Which is why this is an important development – today, Meta has signed on to the newly established Metaverse Standards Forum (MSF), currently managed by The Kronos Group, which will bring together leading organizations and companies in the space to work together on interoperability standards needed to build the open metaverse.

As explained by The New Stack:

Interoperability – or lack thereof – is a key issue in the nascent metaverse industry. The Khronos Group aims to solve this with a new open standards discussion forum called The Metaverse Standards Forum, which launches today. The group includes representation from most of the big players in the 3D internet, including Nvidia, Meta, Epic Games, Unity, Microsoft, and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

The group will work together to establish agreed protocols and standards for metaverse connection, which will be the building blocks of interoperability, enabling users to take their avatars and virtual objects with them across spaces and experiences.

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Interoperability is already a key element of the web, with fundamental building blocks, like HTML, available for anyone to use to build their own connected experiences. No one controls these aspects, as such, but there are agreed usage principles that enable all to participate.

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As per Wellcome:

“Internet interoperability standards enable the operational processes underlying exchange and sharing of information between different systems to ensure all digital research outputs are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable, according to the FAIR principles.”

The metaverse, if it’ is to be a truly connective, inclusive next plane, will need to establish similar protocols, which is where the MSF is now stepping in.

And while no one knows exactly what will be required as yet, these fundamental building blocks will define the metaverse space, which will ensure that companies like Meta don’t end up wholly dominating the next stage.

According to Khronos President Neil Trevett

“No one really knows how it’s all going to come together. But that’s okay. For the purposes of the forum, we don’t really need to know. What we are concerned with is that there are clear, short-term interoperability problems to be solved.”

That will include things like metaverse schemas and agreed elements that need to be included for metaverse connection, facilitating open participation, in a range of ways.

Again, Meta is in the box seat here, given its advanced work in the space, but the idea will be that, eventually, you’ll be able to flow through from Horizon Worlds to, say, Fortnite, in a seamless manner, with all of these elements being built on the same agreed standards and access parameters.

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It’s an important step, and while it may not mean much for consumers right now, eventually, the establishment of these standards will play a key role in how we connect and engage in the digital space.

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There’s still a long way to go before the metaverse, as envisioned, becomes a reality, but regulatory steps like these are critical elements in defining future process.

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YouTube Tests Disappearing Community Posts, Expands Access to Membership Gifting

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YouTube Tests Disappearing Community Posts, Expands Access to Membership Gifting

YouTube is testing out a new post type within its Community Posts element, while it’s also expanding access to ‘Membership Gifting’, which provides another way for creators to boost their audience in the app.

First off, on disappearing posts – YouTube’s running a new experiment that will enable selected creators to set a time limit on their Community Posts in the app, which will see those updates disappear after 24 or 72 hours.

As you can see in this example, the new option will enable you to set an expiration date for a Community Post, which will then see it automatically erased from view after that time.

YouTube says that creators have been seeking more ways to enhance engagement within the Community Posts element:

“We’ve heard from creators that they would like the ability to share content that is only available for a short period of time – for example, a special time-limited discount on merch or a special message for fans that manage to catch it before it expires.”

YouTube’s Community Posts, which it opened up to all channels with over 500 subscribers in September last year (down from 1,000 subs previously), enable creators to share text-based posts – which can include polls, GIFs, images, and video – within their Community tab.

YouTube Community Posts

That provides another way to extend your community-building efforts beyond video content and subsequent comments, which is more aligned with the engagement that you’ll find on in other social apps.

And soon, you’ll also be able to share disappearing posts too – though the initial test is only running with selected creators on Android devices to begin with.

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“Viewers will be able to see that a post will expire in x hours at the top of the post in the community tab, and creators will see their expired posts in the ‘Community’ tab under the ‘Archived’ chip once it has expired. Creators can’t re-share expired posts, but we are planning on adding that functionality in the future.”

On another front, YouTube’s also expanding access to its ‘Membership Gifting’ option, which enables Channel members to purchase gift memberships, which are then distributed to other viewers who are not subscribed to the channel.

YouTube Membership Gifting

Which may seem a little odd, but the idea is that this is a support measure for creators, not a gift for friends, as such, providing a means to both give the creator revenue (as they get the usual cut from gifted memberships), while also helping them to boost their audience in the app.

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“Up until now, gifting memberships was in a limited beta stage only, and only accessible by a small number of creators. But with this launch, we’re expanding the number of creators that have access to gifting memberships. And as a creator, you can buy gift memberships for your community without becoming a member yourself.”

To be eligible for the program, Channels need to have memberships enabled at a level of $4.99. Viewers also need to opt in to receive gifts during a stream, which they can do by tapping on the ‘Allow Gifts’ prompt in the chat on an eligible broadcast. 

It could be a handy option for building community in the app, and with many YouTubers inspiring legions of passionate fans, you can imagine that some will be more than happy to participate in helping to grow their favorite creators’ following.

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