Written by Melantha Tan, Naini Gupta, Vivian Tan and Fu You Quan.

Ready Player What? Facebook has just announced a multiplayer VR world: Horizon

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At Oculus Connect 6, Facebook introduced Horizon, a giant virtual reality playground where users can build their own worlds, create and play games, or just socialize with friends who are represented by legless animated avatars. 

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Horizon is reminiscent of the Oasis game in the book “Ready Player One,” where VR users around the globe interact with one another in a virtual world. When players enter the VR world, they can mingle in a town square-like setting, or jump into virtual portals called telepods that takes them to other user-created worlds.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented, “Horizon is going to have this property where it just expands and gets better.”

It’s easy to imagine Horizon, if and when it gains traction, to include virtual billboards for brands, third-party malls full of branded Nikes, or subscriptions to access certain gaming worlds or premium planets. Horizon will launch sometime in 2020, and users with Oculus Quest or Oculus Rift hardware can request early access to the beta. 

A 5-minute interactive story where your choices can lead to matches.

Tinder is introducing an interactive original series called Swipe Night, its first-ever foray into original programming, representing a growing interest in experimenting with interactive content.

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This October, Tinder will release the interactive video-heavy series, where users make choices that will decide where the story heads next. Streaming inside the Tinder app, the story will feature a group of friends who try to make it through an apocalyptic event. Tinder users who are online from 6 p.m. till midnight will be presented with various choices and dilemmas with only 7 seconds to swipe left or right for what they want to happen next. This takes swiping and matching to a whole new level.

Beyond the series, Tinder users' choices will also factor into who they match on the platform, and their decisions will be displayed on profiles for potential matches to view. Ravi Mehta, Tinder's chief product officer, hopes that these choices serve as ice-breakers for Tinder users and encourage new, organic conversations based on a shared content experience.

Got another 5 minutes? Snapchat just announced eight new Snap Originals

Snapchat recently announced its new slate of Snap Originals. The shows are made exclusively for the messaging application and the unique behaviours of consuming content via mobile devices, which is done in short bursts with people’s thumbs hovering over their screens.


Save Me: The scripted thriller follows a home-schooled teen trying to find and save his online classmate and crush who goes missing. 

For that reason, Snap Originals are typically no more than five minutes long, full-screen, vertical and immersive, with hyper-visual components including graphics, split screens and quick cuts. Also, Snapchat is trying out new genres, including character-driven docuseries, unscripted shows, and serialized scripted dramas, thrillers, comedies and more.

'Snap Originals' have proved to be a smashing success for the social media giant. Over the past year, the time spent watching Shows has more than tripled and the total daily time spent by Snapchatters watching Discover increased by over 60 percent, while the number of daily viewers has grown by 35 percent. Smart move from Snapchat as these new shows are likely going to attract more advertisers to the platform.

For creators, from creators — Instagram launches new account that to encourage people to keep making content.

Instagram launched a new branded account today called @creators, for aspiring content makers looking to level up their content. It will be an account teaming up with several Instagram-chosen creators to address “tips, tricks, updates, IGTV, behind the scenes, access, insights, tutorials, and FAQs.

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Instagram-chosen creators will walk people through their process for creating content and offer advice that ranges from the equipment they use to the sound effects they like. However, it is evident that the account is placing a heavier emphasis on IGTV, the long-form video arm of Instagram and a focus point for the company.

However, the account does raise a concern for content creators: monetisation. Content creators ultimately want to make a career out of their passion. However, unlike YouTube or other live streaming platforms, Instagram does not have a native way to make money on the platform. But, if they do, Instagram shared that they'll most probably start with IGTV.

Nonetheless, this initiative might be a great direction Instagram is steering to encourage creators to keep making content, especially on IGTV.