Mozilla’s Hubs offering has been kicking around for several years now. Lucas described a 2018 preview of the service thusly, “It’s not Second Life, or even Facebook Spaces; it’s pretty low-key. You’re just a humble robot hanging with other robots who are hopefully your friends.”
The service has expanded features since then (including the arrival of non-robot avatars), but the bare-bones Second Life vibe is still very much intact. Mozilla notes that over the years, Hubs has hosted a number of different gatherings, from virtual events and classrooms to art galleries.
Today it’s introducing a subscription version of the service. Is this simply an effort to charge for what Mozilla has offered up for free? Per an FAQ in an associated blog post:
No. Our new Hubs subscription service is a significant expansion of what you can do today by creating a room. With our new subscription model, rather than having to manage individual rooms on hubs.mozilla.com, you’ll have access to account management tools, privacy and security features to customize access to your Hub, the ability to brand your Hub’s home page and color theme.
From the sound of it, the big draws are more customization and control over Hubs. That will run you $20 a month. The org says additional tiers and a free version are coming down the road, but at this point, it’s $20 a month or bust (though you can cancel whenever). Future tiers will offer up things like more storage and the ability to host more people in a room. No word on what the free version will — and won’t offer.
As for existing Hubs, Mozilla says:
At this time, we will keep hubs.mozilla.com as it exists today up and running, but we do plan to change our data retention policies for hubs.mozilla.com in the future to remove old content that is no longer in use. In the coming months, we will release a timeline for these changes and include instructions on how to migrate content to a free or paid subscription.
The paid tier is available starting today and Mozilla is soliciting requests. How about some arms to start? We recognize that legs might be a bridge too far.
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