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Niantic’s all-in on the Metaverse with subscription plans, monetization tools and discovery capabilities as part of the 8th Wall platform.

Niantic acquired 8th Wall back in March. 8th Wall’s Reality Engine launched in 2021 and enables web-based augmented reality experiences to immediately work across a huge amount of iOS and Android devices, computers, tablets and both AR and VR headsets.

The acquisition let Niantic empower its Lightship development platform, which lets other developers work towards creating AR and VR focused games, like Pokemon Go and Ingress. Lightship offers the ability to include three core features: real-time mapping, allowing objects to interface with real word locations and multiplayer sharing features.

Easy to understand subscriptions

Now Niantic is launching new subscription tiers to make accessing 8th Wall’s full range of tools more affordable.

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The first subscription tier is the Starter plan, which costs $9.99/month. Developers who choose this plan can create unlimited WebAR and WebVR projects with 8th Wall’s Cloud Editor. They can then publish their web applications using 8th Wall’s global hosting services.

The Plus plan costs $49/month. It builds on the features available in the previous plan, and provides more flexibility for developers in sharing their web apps. Plus plan subscribers get access to direct project URLs, embeddable AR and progressive web apps. They can also connect custom domains. The Plus plan is aimed at developers seeing success with their AR and VR apps and want to grow their user base.

“Today’s launch is in direct response to the growing demand we have heard from the developer ecosystem who want to use the 8th Wall platform to create interactive WebAR and WebVR content,” said Niantic’s Erik Murphy-Chutorian. “By offering a wider variety of subscription price points and equipping developers with new tools to distribute and monetize their AR and VR web apps, developers are well positioned to create a successful business with the 8th Wall platform.”

But it isn’t just subscriptions

8th Wall Payments is also launching alongside the subscriptions. It’s a set of tools for developers to add secure payments to their apps. Developers can use the Payments Module found within the Cloud Editor to easily add products for purchase to their project. The 8th Wall Payments API facilitates the payments, which allows the developers to collect and receive payments safely.

The Payments Module will also have the ability to add an access pass to projects at launch. It will be able to offer users paid access to specific AR or VR content for a limited time. Developers can use the functionality for things like tickets to a holographic concert or an art exhibit.

Or something more involved like a week long AR scavenger hunt.

It isn’t only payment methods, either

8th Wall also acts as a discovery portal for published apps. The site itself is already the largest destination for discovering WebAR content. It also already offers QR.8 codes (8th Wall’s personal QR codes) as well as 8th.io short links. Users can also already use it to embed WebAR into existing websites.

Now developers will get their own public profile page on 8th Wall. These profiles act as portfolios for agency partners to browse. It streamlines the process towards developers securing work from brands around the world. It isn’t just for established developers either; students and freelance developers will have access too.

“The Web is undergoing a massive transformation and augmented reality plays a key role in its evolution into the Metaverse,” said Niantic’s Tom Emrich, “Realizing this future will only be made possible by developers and they need powerful tools to not only create content but also help them succeed with it. The 8th Wall platform offers developers this holistic toolset for WebAR and WebVR development.”

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