May 25, 2022 – Niantic has today announced that it is launching a number of new features for 8th Wall, which it acquired earlier this year. New features include new subscription plans, monetization tools and discovery capabilities that will help developers succeed with their augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) web apps.
“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 Erik Murphy-Chutorian, 8th Wall Founder and VP of Engineering at Niantic. “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.”
New subscription plans
To make access to 8th Wall’s complete set of tools more affordable for independent developers and small teams, Niantic is introducing two new monthly subscription plans starting at USD $9.99.
According to Niantic, the Starter plan will provide developers with everything they need to get started with 8th Wall. For $9.99/month, developers on the Starter plan can create unlimited WebAR and WebVR projects with the Cloud Editor and publish their web apps to 8thwall.com using Niantc’s global hosting services.
Then there is the Plus plan at USD $49.00/month, which builds upon the features available in the Starter plan and will provide developers with even greater flexibility in sharing their web apps. Developers on the Plus plan will have access to direct project URLs, embeddable AR, progressive web apps and can connect custom domains. Niantic stated that the Plus plan is designed for developers who are already seeing success with their AR and VR web apps and want to take their user growth to the next level.
Monetization tools for AR and VR web apps
Niantic is also announcing 8th Wall Payments, which will give developers the tools they need to add secure payments to their AR and VR web apps. Developers can use the Payments Module found in the Cloud Editor to add products for purchase to their project. All payments are facilitated by the 8th Wall Payments API, which enables developers to collect and receive payments.
At launch, developers can use the Payments Module to add an access pass to their projects. This payment type offers users paid access to AR or VR content for a limited period of time. According to Niantic, access passes are well suited to enable paid access to AR/VR events, such as a 1-day ticket to a holographic concert or a virtual art exhibit or 7-day access to an AR-enabled scavenger hunt.
Increased discovery of developers’ AR and VR web content
The 8th Wall platform already provides developers with a variety of ways to distribute WebAR content including QR.8 codes, 8th.io short links and the ability to embed WebAR into any existing website. Today, Niantic is adding to these tools by giving all developers the ability to publish AR and VR web apps directly to 8thwall.com.
8thwall.com already acts as a destination to discover WebAR content. The website’s growing catalog features branded WebAR content published by 8th Wall’s agency and creative studio partners. According to the company, this catalog has also helped these agency partners to get discovered by brands and as a result has become a powerful acquisition tool. By expanding the ability to publish content to 8thwall.com, Niantic is making this powerful discovery and acquisition tool available to the wider developer community.
Developers will also get their own Public Profile page on 8thwall.com. Public Profiles act as portfolios for agency partners, helping them secure work from brands around the world. This same tool will now be available for developers, such as students and freelancers, helping them build their own portfolios of WebAR and WebVR projects they can use to secure a job.
“The Web is undergoing a massive transformation and augmented reality plays a key role in its evolution into the Metaverse,” says Tom Emrich, Director of Product Management at Niantic. “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.”
Image credit: 8th Wall / Niantic