Meta has released its "Personal Boundary" tool to address the concerns circulating around user safety and sexual harassment in the metaverse. With this tool, avatars in the metaverse are prevented from coming within a set distance of each other, creating more personal space for people and making it easier to avoid unwanted interactions.
The new tool aims to set behavioural norms, which Meta considers to be important for a relatively new medium such as VR, and will be featured inside its games Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues . Currently, the size for the boundary space is set at four feet. If an avatar were to enter the space within the "Personal Boundary", the system will hat the forward movement.
"This builds upon our existing hand harassment measures that were already in place, where an avatar’s hands would disappear if they encroached upon someone’s personal space," said Meta. Improvements will be made over time after Meta learns how this affects people's experiences.
Aside from building a safe metaverse experience, Meta vowed in November last year , that it had plans to remove its detailed targeting options from January 2022 onwards. With this move, advertisers will not have the opportunity to target users who have interacted with content related to health causes, sexual orientation, religious practices, political beliefs and social issues, among others.
While this move limits the way Meta's targeting tools can be abused, VP of product marketing, Graham Mudd said at that time that the company was aware that this change may negatively impact some businesses and organisations. "It is important to note that the interest targeting options we are removing are not based on people’s physical characteristics or personal attributes, but instead on things like people’s interactions with content on our platform," explained Mudd.
Separately, Instagram rolled out its "Instagram Subscriptions" feature last month, allowing creators to develop deeper connections with their most engaged followers and grow recurring monthly income by giving subscribers access to exclusive content and benefits. This move came after the "strong creator feedback" the social media platform received from "Facebook Subscriptions", which was launched in 2020. Tests for the feature was launched on 21 January to a limited number of U.S creators. It is said that there are plans to expand access to more creators over the next few months.
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