Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Number of Second Life Users Down to 800,000, But ...

Earlier this month, Backchannel Magazine wrote about the Creations for Parkinsons area, a article that Barbie Alchemi mentioned in a press release. The article gave it's population, or user base, estimated to be at 1.1 million in 2006. In 2013, Linden Lab claimed an active user base of one million. And today, Backchannel stated "An estimated 800,000 users are active on a monthly basis," saying they were told by Linden Lab. While there are a total of almost 50 million accounts according to Daniel Voyager's Second Life Statistic's page, it's not clear how many are alt accounts.

Eight hundred thousand seems small compared to Facebook, which Backchannel stated as having close to two billion users. World of Warcraft, which came around about the same time as Second Life has sometimes been used as a comparison as to how virtual reality hadn't quite caught on the same way as massive multiplayer online games, boasted a total of 100 million accounts (in 2014) with up to over 12 million active players. But it didn't last, and it's numbers of active players dropped to 5.5 million in late 2015 when it's owners announced they would no longer be publishing reports of active numbers. It's probably safe to assume it's dropped further.

Hamlet Au suggested recently in New World Notes that this lower number of active users may not be what it seems at first. Talking with Peter Gray (Pete Linden), he was told, "We've made a number of optimizations to our user acquisition efforts to get more qualified traffic ... As a result, though the total number of monthly actives has come down, the number of paying SL users has held steady."

In layman's terms, Pete Linden says the Lab has changed their advertising to get people more likely to stay and spend time and money in Second Life. Hamlet went on to say he's felt it's more active users numbered closer to 600,000 for some years, "So most likely, dropping from 1,000,000 to 800,000 reported users isn't so much a loss of actual people as a trimming of marketing fluff."

What do you the readers think? Have you noticed fewer people coming in, or has the number of those people leaving been replaced by new users coming in?

Sourcres: Blackchannel, Daniel Voyager, New World Notes

Bixyl Shuftan

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