We’ve got some exciting news for both aspiring and existing Landowners who think the cost of land is too darn high in Second Life. Effective immediately, we’ve reduced Mainland costs by over 10 percent.
But, wait...there’s more!
Premium membersnow also get DOUBLE the Mainland allotment! That’s twice as much space to build, create and design your own home, business or experience in Second Life at no extra charge! Premium subscribers now have 1,024m² included with their membership: you could keep your Linden Home and still have another 512m² left over, or use your entire 1024 allotment towards a parcel on the Mainland. To learn more about specifics of this change, view our Pricing and Allotment Comparison chart.
Avatars button allows Residents to choose and immediately change their avatar
Inventory button lets Residents see the things they own
Shop button takes Residents to the Second Life Marketplace
By merging the Basic and Advanced modes, users no longer need to switch between modes, which improves usability – and ultimately enhances the Second Life inworld experience.
For further details on how to get the most out of the new Second Life Viewer, please check out the following video tutorials:
Inbox Messaging Gives Second Life Residents a More Efficient Way to Communicate
Did you know that you are now able to send a message from your inbox to anyone in Second Life who accepts messages from you?
Whether you are a merchant and want to ask your customers about their experiences with your products, or you simply want to keep in touch with friends, the addition of the profile inbox will help you better communicate.
Because you can view and track your messages, inbox messaging also allows you to better manage conversations. And because the inbox is available on the web, you don't have to be logged in to Second Life to read and send messages.
If you would like to contact someone who is not in your friends list, you can send them a message directly from their profile by choosing “Message” from the drop-down envelope icon.
Although direct messages to other users don't appear in your profile feed (even if that's set to public), if you are still concerned about your privacy, your profile settings allow you to control who sends you messages and how you get notified.
One of the great opportunities of Second Life is that Residents can create nearly anything they can imagine. One of the great challenges is that Residents can create nearly anything they can imagine. We spend a lot of time considering how to improve performance without limiting creativity, and today we're pleased to announce a major change that will serve to improve performance and influence behavior without restricting creative freedom.
In a conventional video game environment, everything you see has been carefully optimized and constructed to make display efficient; levels of detail and textures are checked and rechecked by highly skilled experts who understand the impact of every choice on the target display system, and as much of the expensive computation as possible is done in advance. In the free-form user-created world of Second Life, there is little opportunity for optimization, the target display environment ranges from low-end netbooks to state-of-the-art gaming systems, and the experience of creators ranges from complete novice to those who could be (and sometimes are) among the best in the field. The results are often astonishingly great, but are sometimes very hard on the display capabilities of less powerful systems, resulting in extreme rendering lag.
We've looked at what sorts of things cause the most difficulty, and one of the biggest factors turns out to be rendering of avatars. This shouldn't be very surprising when you consider how much time, attention, and creativity goes into selecting and customizing them. Unfortunately, creators and consumers sometimes make choices that are so difficult for others to render that they severely impact the experience of those around them; in busy areas, this can be a big problem for anyone who has a less than fantastic graphics system. We could address that problem by more sharply limiting what people can create - putting in new limits on the textures, mesh complexity, and attachment features you can use on your avatar, but we enjoy the richness and variety of amazing avatars we encounter in-world as much as you do.
Instead, we are trying to incorporate feedback to content creators and consumers on the impact of their choices, and ways for users to limit the effect that the choices others make can have on their own system performance. Avatars are quite complex; we have a measure of that we're now calling 'Avatar Rendering Complexity'. That measure is, of necessity, an approximation - Because different systems have different strengths, no one measure can ever perfectly represent the difficulty of rendering an avatar in a universal way, but we've put some effort into making it a useful approximation.
In the newest default Viewer release, each time you change the appearance of your avatar, a small notice with your new complexity value will appear in the upper right of your display for a few seconds. There is no absolute 'good' or 'bad' value for that number; it can range from just a thousand or so to several hundred thousand (all the starter avatars are under 32,000, and the newer ones are all under 10,000). There is also a new graphics preference you can use to limit the impact of high complexity avatars around you; it lets you set a maximum complexity for avatar rendering. Anyone you see that's over that limit is simplified to a "JellyDoll" - a solid color silhouette without attachments shown - saving you most of the cost that you would otherwise have had to draw that avatar and so increasing the performance of your viewer. Each user can select their own value for that limit, trading off performance and fidelity; defaults for it depend on the power of your graphics system. You can override the limit for an avatar by right clicking on them and selecting "Always Render Fully".
This limit wouldn't accomplish much if it just changed everyone into JellyDolls without providing feedback to those who wear the most expensive avatars. In order to provide that feedback, your Viewer tells the simulator which of the avatars around you are over your limit and have been simplified. The simulator aggregates that information from everyone and in turn tells you how many of the people around you are not fully rendering your avatar (without telling you which ones they are). When that changes significantly, you'll get a brief notice in the upper right of your screen telling you approximately how many of those around you are (or are not) rendering you because of your complexity. Our hope is that over time this will encourage people to consider the complexity they create - after all, it's not much good having the most elaborate and amazing avatar in Second Life if no one else is seeing it.
But, you say… This is one more preference that I'll constantly want to customize! Sometimes I want to see the amazing beautiful avatars my friends create, and sometimes I want to move quickly through a crowd and don't care, but changing graphics settings is a nuisance.
We've revamped the graphics settings panels to make that easier, but more importantly we've added a way for you to save collections of settings (called "presets") with a name you pick, and then a pulldown at the right end of the top bar (it looks like a little computer screen) to instantly switch between them without having to even open the setting floater.
Now you can have one collection of preferences for shopping, one for clubbing, one for intimate settings with your closest friends - whatever you need, and you can add and change them any time.
We continue to diligently work on stability and performance of Second Life along with adding cool new features. As we do that, we hope to provide more and better information to the colorful and talented community of Second Life so that we can continue to make it an even better and more interesting world together.
More information on how to configure these settings is in the Knowledge Base.
I want to thank everyone who downloaded the SL Viewer Beta with Basic and Advanced modes, gave it a try, and shared feedback with us. Since the initial launch last week, we’ve also deployed an additional beta version with fewer bugs and more stability and performance improvements.
Today, we are releasing the SL Viewer into general availability and it is now the default download for new users. A few new features that are included are the destinations guide which allows rapid access to selected areas around SL for new users by interest, the ability to change avatars quickly and “click to walk.” Just click on a point ahead of you and your avatar will automatically start walking there. Additionally, we encourage you to fill in your “Interests” in the Edit Profile tab of your Profile page. Eventually, you’ll see that we are going to do some fun things with Interests once more people fill them in.
Keep in mind, that we’re just at the beginning of developing the Basic experience for new customers and that we will continue to improve it, and add features, as time goes on.
An important step in this process is to get new users trying the software. With a simplified user experience, we should see an increase in new customers staying in Second Life to explore, make friends, and find interesting things to do. And, ultimately, the more customers in Second Life, the better for everyone. Once a new user is acclimated to Second Life, and has learned some basic inworld skills, then they may want to switch to Advanced mode to use voice, purchase virtual goods, join groups, and create content.
We look forward to working with you to help make our world grow.
PICTURED: Second Life Resident Keiko Takamura and her "real life" counterpart Amy E.
Linden Lab, maker of Second Life, is now casting both humans and their avatars for a new promotional campaign that will be featured on Secondlife.com and across the web.
For this campaign and a related video, we’re looking for people who are comfortable revealing their “human side” alongside their avatars in SL. This is your opportunity to participate in an extension and update to a campaign already in use on Secondlife.com and in various banner ads across the Internet. An example can be seen at: http://secondlife.com/whatis/avatar/.
This promotion aims to spotlight the diverse and creative communities in Second Life, so contact us if you’d like to share your passion for SL with the world! Whether you role-play as a Roman or robot...or just follow the latest virtual fashions and music in SL, we welcome all individuals to apply.
To be considered, please fill out this application form by noon (Pacific) on Sept. 12. All submissions will be reviewed by the creative production team for the campaign, but will remain private and undisclosed unless we receive your permission to use as part of the campaign.
And, the Pet Pack - which includes four adorable troobles - is now 60% off.
Head on over to Amazon now if you’d like to take advantage of these great deals!
This particular sale is limited to US customers only, but Second Life is now also available on Amazon in the UK and Germany as well, and we hope to expand our promotions in the future, so keep an eye out!
I would like to thank everyone who sent me messages on how to improve Second Life. For now, I will leave aside longer term goals around creativity, new windows into Second Life, and other initiatives. Instead, I want to share three important areas that we are focusing on in the short-term, based on your suggestions:
Service: We have added significant resources to better address customer service times. Many of you will have noticed that our response times have improved both for individual cases and larger community issues. In addition, we are actively working to reduce commerce friction. We will continue to work hard to work out the kinks and improve these services even further.
Lag: We have already implemented some server-side performance enhancements to improve lag and there will be far greater focus on that area in the months to come.
Usability: This is the topic of today’s post.
Many of you have noted that Second Life is difficult to use, both for yourself and when inviting friends inworld. This usability issue is more complex than the user interface as it not only includes finding people and places, but it is also is dependent on some of the items above. We want to make an experience that helps you overcome some of the big usability hurdles that you’ve shared with me. Today, we’re launching a new version of Second Life Viewer Beta which introduces two modes that are available to everyone who downloads it--Basic and Advanced. Basic mode is an easier, simplified experience designed to introduce users to Second Life. It includes simple communication and navigation tools such as click to move and hold to move the camera, a choice of 24 pre-configured avatars, and an integrated Destination Guide to help you connect to friends and interesting places quickly and easily. Certain functionality, such as voice capability, building tools, and the ability to purchase virtual goods, is not available in Basic mode. Advanced mode is for those already familiar with Second Life who use the full feature set of the SL Viewer. There are a couple of things that I want to share right off the bat. First, both Basic and Advanced modes are built on the same code base and are included in the standard download of the SL Viewer Beta. You can think of it like two skins on the same piece of software. New customers will default to Basic, and if you already have the SL Viewer loaded onto your machine, the new version will default to the Advanced mode. Our goal is to get new users comfortable in SL using Basic mode and then have the option to toggle to the Advanced mode when they are ready to conduct more advanced activities such as using voice, purchasing virtual goods, and building. And, it’s easy to switch back and forth. Simply toggle to the alternate mode in the Login Screen, and then log back in. Lastly, we know that the Basic mode is very lean, and we’re only at the beginning of developing the minimum feature set--keeping it simple and working on the basics of usability first. We anticipate adding additional capabilities to Basic mode, so your feedback is important before we make this version of the SL Viewer the default download for new users. This is a first small step towards making the world that you have created more accessible and enjoyable to use for everyone. So, download the SL Viewer Beta and try it out.
Imagine yourself in a jungle on a remote island brimming with possible adventures and spectacular flora and fauna to explore. Now, imagine that remote island jungle is what we’ve come to call the Second Life grid, and imagine that you are … a Velociraptor! Sounds a little bit like a pretty weird but cool dream, right?
Well you no longer have to imagine the dream - you can live it with the Second Life 12th Anniversary commemorative avatar! Pick up your free avatar at Hairy Hippo Fun Land or off the Marketplace before this raptor becomes extinct at the end of July!
Celebrate SL12B in Ferocious Style for a Chance to Win L$10,000
Now that you’ve got your raptor - it’s time to take ‘em for a test drive. Share snapshots of your raptor avatar celebrating SL12B to the Second Life 12th Anniversary Snapshot Contest from now until July 20th, and you could win 1 of 4 incredible prizes - L$10,000 , L$5,000, L$3,000, or L$1,000!
Be creative! This limited-edition raptor has the entirety of the grid to seek out a picture-perfect spot to take a winning snapshot - but a good place to start is the SL12B Destination Guide category.
Read the full rules and contest details on the contest page.
A new Premium gift is now available! Go Premium today and take flight in your Premium-only airplane for some high flying fun. Zoom around and perform high-speed aerial stunts and acrobatics such as loops, barrel rolls, hard dives and climbs.
Take off in Orville, a Premium-only airfield where you can fuel up your airplane, spend some hangar time with your other flying friends, socialize in the airfield building lobby or watch over the skies from the control tower!
While this plane may be a single-seat aircraft that doesn't mean you can't bring some friends along -- you just might want to tell them to hold on!
The airplane is available to Premium Residents only. To access the exclusive Orville Airport, you must be a Premium member, so don’t delay! Additional Premium benefits include a private home, Linden dollars, as well as expanded support. Take flight and take advantage this limited-time half-off promotion today.* Already Premium? Get it here.
*TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR 50% DISCOUNT This limited-time discount offer is available only for memberships on the Quarterly billing plan. Discount will be applied to the first quarterly billing cycle only, and all future charges will be at the regular Premium price. To qualify, Second Life members must have an active Basic account or create a new Second Life account. Discount offer begins on Wednesday the 14th of November at 8:00 am Pacific Standard Time (PST) and expires on Tuesday the 1st of January 2013 at 8:00 am Pacific Standard Time (PST).
So, we’re introducing a new test program called “Dash Deals.” During this test, we will be running one Dash Deal per week, for the next five weeks. Dash Deals will provide Second Life Marketplace shoppers with the opportunity to purchase a specific virtual item for 24 hours at a 50% discount or more. Hand-picked by the Linden team from Merchant submissions, these products highlight the creativity and variety of products available to Marketplace shoppers. We hope that you enjoy our selections and take advantage of the deals!
And, if the test goes well, then you can expect to see more Dash Deals beyond the test period.
Here’s How to Score a Dash Deal We’ll alert Second Life shoppers when the Dash Deal is available on Facebook, Twitter, and in a weekly email. Just click on the SL Marketplace link provided, take a look at the Dash Deal item, and snap it up while it’s still available.
Today’s Dash Deal is an alluring couture gown offered at L$440 (originally L$880). But hurry—this deal only lasts for 24 hours!
Keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter for the official “Dash Deal” badge—and you could score a deep discount on some of the best virtual goods on Marketplace. Happy shopping!
Update (April 26, 2011)
There have been some additional questions regarding the Dash Deal emails, and we wanted to take this opportunity to clarify a few points. Although Dash Deals last for a day, they will only happen once a week for the next 4 weeks. For those who don't want to receive weekly Dash Deal emails, just "unsubscribe" using the link in the email. However, this will mean that you are unsubscribing from all optional Second Life emails. I hope that this clarification is helpful and get ready for the next Dash Deal, scheduled for April 27, 2011.
Update (May 6, 2011)
We have decided to discontinue the Dash Deal program. This decision was not made lightly and is due to several factors, including technical limitations which made the management of the program inefficient. We expect to test other programs of this type in the future, once we have resolved these issues.
The Affiliate Program rewards you for associating your website, blog, social media channel, or other means of outreach with Second Life. You earn a commission every time someone becomes a Second Life user (registering an account and logging into the Viewer) within 45 days of clicking a Second Life link on your site. In other words, you get paid for helping Second Life grow with new users.
To learn more, including regional restrictions on participation, and to apply to the Affiliate Program, click here.
Autumn has finally decided to fall upon us here in the Lab’s San Francisco offices. We didn’t think it would ever come - but took comfort in the fact that we could always visit gorgeous autumnal regions in Second Life. There is something magical and fantastic about that mix of Fall and Winter taking place all over the grid. Some of you are eager to dash into the winter holiday season - while others still cling to the lingering haunts of Halloween. I’m a little bit of both - to be honest! So, our Second Life Destination Guide editors must have been in the same mind when they curated this great list of spots you need to visit inworld!
Gacha Good Events Bounty Of the Harvest
Gacha Good Events presents "Bounty Of The Harvest," a holiday event that celebrates the autumn and upcoming winter months with a variety of items that represent the fall month. There are 50 designers and over 100 Gachas to browse through.
Virtual Ability's International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference (IDRAC 2015) offers speakers who discuss and celebrate successes, identify issues and re-affirm the rights of people with disabilities across the world. The event is held Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Pacific).
Fractal Insanity is an exhibition that features the fractal art and abstracts of Milly Sharple. The art in this gallery is rotated regularly as new work is added, keeping the venue interesting for new visitors as well as returning ones.
Driftwood Valley Estates would like to invite you to explore the 2015 Winter Wonderland. The naked winter trees line the avenue.There is a freezing chill in the air that brings crispness to the leaves, bejeweled with frost, that crunch underfoot. Rosy cheeked, we stamp to keep warm, pulling woolen hats over our reddened ears and tightening scarves over our blue-tinged lips.
Get ready for Christmas at this special fair, held through the holidays in Second Life. In the town square, you'll find a lit Christmas tree and shops that sell a variety of souvenirs, gifts, decorations and more.
Come visit this beautiful Christmas and winter sim where you can fly with Santa, skate on ice, visit a coffee shop, listen to Christmas carols, take pictures and find all you need for this holiday season!
This winter-themed sim is filled with the spirit of Christmas. Bring your friends to explore, dine and dance in the ballroom, ice-skate, sledge, cuddle, play in the snow, visit the coffee shop and take photographs. There's plenty to do and see and everyone is welcome!
Welcome to the wintery land of Telrunya, the perfect place to explore, relax, go ice skating and take wonderful pictures in this exquisite scenery. With a hint of magic, this place is truly a winter wonderland.
In a repeating vivid dream, you get told that your name is written in Krampus' book. It promises that you will suffer all kind of hell's agony before the year is over. Can you escape your fate and stop the repeating dream?
In a secret valley in the North Pole, Santa Claus and his elves are working hard. In the hidden village, letters are piling up at the post office. Santa takes his time reading, checking each list twice, making sure he writes down who's naughty or nice. Come visit this magical wintry spot in time for the magic of Christmas
As we near the end of 2012, we wanted to take a moment to highlight just a few of the ways in which Second Life has grown and improved over the past year. This isn’t an exhaustive accounting, of course, but it seemed like a good time for a quick reflection on some of the initiatives we hope made your Second Life better this year.
New Ways to Create, Share, and Discover
Some of the most exciting work we did this year was to grow the toolset that you can use to create amazing experiences in Second Life. This year, we rolled out the first set of advanced creator tools, launched Pathfinding (possibly the first time ever that dynamic pathfinding has been successfully implemented in a 3D, user-created world!), and resolved some important issues to make it easier to create with mesh. Additionally, we recently created the Good Building Practices wiki to make it easier to find all the info you need about mesh, scripting, physics, Pathfinding and more.
We also made it easier to discover interesting places to explore inworld. We revamped Destination Island, improving performance (by about 15 fps) and introducing a new design that surfaces regularly refreshed destinations based on the wide variety of entries in the Destination Guide. We added roughly 1,200 new original entries to the Destination Guide in 2012, bringing the total number of unique directory listings to about 2,400! We’ll continue to grow the Guide in 2013, and if you’d like your location to be included, you can submit it here.
New Perks for Premium Subscribers
This year we offered some new perks for Premium subscribers to add a bit more fun to their Second Life experiences. For example, we launched the Premium Wilderness region for subscribers to explore and offered several exclusive gifts - a railcar, a dunebuggy, and a biplane - for those users to enjoy inworld. More perks will be coming in 2013, as we continue to look at ways we can bring additional value to our Premium offering.
Better Ways of Communicating and Doing Business
A number of the changes we made to Second Life this year were designed to make it easier for users to communicate and do business. For example, we launched Direct Delivery, which simplifies the purchasing flow for buyers on the Second Life Marketplace. The majority of Marketplace listings and transactions now use Direct Delivery, which is more than twice as fast and more reliable than the old Magic Box method. Next year, we have more work to do to complete support of limited quantity sales and address Merchant Outbox issues, but then we look forward to completing the migration to the new, faster system.
We introduced CHUI - a new user interface that combines all of your inworld communication options into one easier-to-manage place in the Viewer. You can check out CHUI now in a project Viewer, and in early 2013, we’ll roll it out to everyone as part of the main Second Life Viewer.
We also improved the group management tools this year to make it possible to interact with very large groups inworld. It’s now faster and easier for the hundreds of large groups in Second Life to check their member roles and check statuses, for example.
Towards a Faster, More Reliable Second Life Many of the improvements we made to Second Life this year were “behind the scenes,” so you may not have seen the changes themselves, but we hope you’ll notice things just generally working better, faster, and more reliably. This year, we kicked off Project Shining- a major initiative to improve Second Life performance and reliability. As part of this project, in 2012 we made the single largest capital investment in new server hardware upgrades in the history of Linden Lab, and we have introduced an improved HTTP Library(currently available in a beta Viewer) to make Viewer/Server communications more efficient. More work on Project Shining in 2013 will mean additional improvements to performance and reliability - i.e. Second Life will simply work better for everyone!
Also to this end, we introduced threaded region crossing to improve teleporting performance and reduce lag when you move from one region to another, and expanded our support of video cards to include the latest from all major manufacturers and enhance the settings on many legacy cards as well.
Looking Ahead to 2013, and Thank you!
For next year, our priorities include further improvements to performance and reliability, and to that end we have more work to do on some of the projects we began this year, including some of those mentioned above. We’ll be rolling out new some perks for Premium subscribers (scavenger hunts, anyone?), as well as some new features for everyone to enjoy (like normal and specular maps to enhance graphics), while continuing and completing initiatives like Project Shining that will make everyone’s Second Life experience more enjoyable.
Lastly, all of us at Linden Lab want to say a big THANK YOU to all of you for everything you’ve done to make Second Life better in 2012. In just about every way - from creating wonderful new things inworld to supporting merchants to providing code, testing new features, and of course much more - you, Second Life’s users, make this virtual world better every day, and we at Linden Lab are grateful and looking forward to making Second Life even greater with you in 2013!
MTV’s Catfish: The TV Show brings together couples that have online relationships to meet offline for the first time, often with surprising results as the differences between online personas and offline lives are revealed.
MTV is now casting the show’s second season, and they’re interested in hearing from Second Life users who have fallen in love inworld, and would now like to meet their love in person. If you’d be interested in being on the show, you can apply online here.
Get all the perks of going Premium for half the price - weekly stipends of L$300, a L$1000 sign-up bonus, the ability to join more groups, expanded Live Chat support, exclusive sandboxes, free gifts, and more!* Learn everything there is to know about Premium membership and upgrade your account here.
New Perk! Prim Limit Increase
Premium members are entitled to a Linden Home and can own parcels on the Mainland. Now, we're raising the limit on the number of prims you can use in those spaces.This means you will have more prims and creative flexibility to decorate and customize your own space. Land impact (object) capacity on Mainland Regions will go from 15,000 to 22,500 - that’s a lot more building capacity!
In addition to this, we will further carry the prim limit increases to the private estate regions shortly. Keep your eye on our blogs for more information!
This episode of Designing Worlds features Patch Linden - talking more in-depth about this new perk. You can watch it on our Official YouTube Channel
. Thanks to the Designing Worlds team for hosting the show!
New Premium Gift
There is a brand new exclusive gift available to Premium members only. Drop by one of the Premium Sandboxes to get your Alpha Robot Avatar. It shoots lasers and features customizable color textures.
This pricing and the Alpha Robot Avatar are only available for a limited time - so hurry and take advantage before November 10, 2016! *TERMS & CONDITIONS This offer begins on November 3, 2016 at 8AM Pacific Time (PT) and expires on November 10, 2016 at 8AM PT. To qualify for this promotion, you must 1) have an existing Second Life ("SL") basic account or create a new account, and 2) select monthly (every one month) billing for your SL account. The fifty percent (50%) discount will be applied to your first month's bill and future months will be billed at the standard Premium Membership price (currently US$9.50 per month). For new accounts or accounts not previously upgraded to Premium Membership, after initial login through the Second Life viewer following upgrade to Premium Membership and: 1) following your first full week, the L$300 weekly stipend will be deposited to your account every Tuesday for the duration of your Premium Membership; and 2) after your account has been active for forty-five (45) consecutive days, the L$ sign-up bonus will be deposited to your account.
You may have heard that in addition to continued work to improve Second Life, Linden Lab is developing a new platform for user-created virtual experiences, code-named Project Sansar. (If you’d like to learn more about it, check out some of the recent press in our media archive.)
Project Sansar is not a sequel to nor a replacement for Second Life, and that the two will run in parallel. Although different from Second Life in a number of respects, Project Sansar has understandably aroused the interest and curiosity of many Second Life Residents. We’re very grateful for that enthusiasm! While it’s still very early for Project Sansar, today we have a special message to share inworld - exclusively with Second Life Residents.
Since this message is just for Second Life Residents - you’ll need to head inworld to view it. Simply teleport to Town Hall Island and click on the screen to start the video. Make sure your media settings in the Viewer are set to on, and that your volume is up in order to hear and view the message. Lindens will be in and out of the region throughout the day to answer questions as well.
Because of the exclusive nature of this message, it will only be available today - April 1, 2016, so log in as soon as possible and don’t miss out!
Town Hall Island
Drop in on Friday, April 1st after 10 am SLT for an exclusive message for Second Life Residents.
Efforts to improve operating focus and cost structure have resulted in two consecutive quarters of strong cash flow and profitability with Q1 2011 the most successful in Linden Lab’s history.
Regarding Customer Support, we made some changes late last year that unfortunately impacted Residents with longer resolution times. Over the last few months, we have worked through the backlog and have returned to 24- to 48-hour resolution times for nearly all types of issues. We continue to add resources and adjust processes to further improve resolution times and customer satisfaction, especially for more complex issues.
After launching the new SL Viewer with Basic and Advanced modes in late Q1 2011, and improving the new user registration experience in early Q2 2011, we have seen over 33% improvement in new daily completed registrations when compared to recent months. This is an early indicator that usability improvements are having an initial positive impact with more significant ones still to be delivered over the coming weeks and months.
In Q1 2011, measures of the size and strength of the Second Life Linden Dollar economy improved slightly while users, usage and world size were consistent with the last few quarters.
For a definition of the metrics in this charts below, please see this wiki page. Click on each image below to see a larger version.
DAILY COMPLETED REGISTRATIONS There has been a positive trend since the new registration experience was introduced on April 11.
AVERAGE MONTHLY REPEAT LOGINS Average monthly repeat logins have been virtually unchanged over the previous 3 quarters.
USER HOURS Similarly, user hours have remained consistent over the last 3 quarters.
AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE The value of the Linden dollar has continued to improve from Q4 2010 and is at its highest level in the last 6 quarters.
*Note that the exchange rate is expressed in L$/USD, meaning larger numbers represent a lower L$ value and smaller numbers represent a higher L$ value. The average rate is calculated by dividing the total L$ exchanged through the LindeX by the total US$ exchanged through the LindeX in the quarter.
L$ SUPPLY The US dollar value of Linden dollars held by Residents of Second Life has increased for the third consecutive quarter.
LINDEX VOLUME In Q1 2011, the LindeX Volume was at its highest level in the last 6 quarters.
WORLD SIZE World size has also stayed within a 1% range over the last 3 quarters.
As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to look back at some of the key accomplishments and new feature highlights that helped to make it one of the best years ever for the Second Life community.
Celebrating 15 Years. Here’s to 15 More! Second Life recently turned 15 and, to mark the occasion, the community held a jam-packed SL15B celebration across several crystal-themed sims. In addition, Linden Lab organized several birthday events including MusicFest and an ambitious Shopping Event. Relive the highlights in the SL15B Flickr feed. So… is anyone ready for SL16B yet?
Lower Costs & More Land? That’s Crazy Talk! What a way to start the year! Early in 2018, we announced a 10 percent reduction in Mainland costs and doubled the Mainland allotment for Premium members. Then, in July we continued to reduce costs by lowering monthly maintenance fees on Private Estates by up to 15% with one-time land setup fees reduced by as much as 41%. As a result, land is now more affordable than ever!
Performance & New Features As part of our commitment to improving Second Life, we announced plans for 15 enhancements and features on our product road-map. Many of these improvements are already in place or are close to completion, while work continues to perfect additional enhancements and features for 2019.
Estate Owners also saw improvements to the Land Manager page including web-based region restarts. There is also an Estate Access Management Release Candidate Viewer, which simplifies many Estate Management tasks, including ban list improvements. It will be making its way to the default release soon.
Speaking of land … there is the overhaul for Auctions with several key improvements and a serious facelift - and we’ll soon add the ability for Residents to create Auctions to sell the land that they own.
In November, we unveiled the long-anticipated debut of Animesh, which allows independent objects to use rigged mesh and animations. We’re already starting to see some creative ways to take advantage of Animesh. This new “dancing Santa” from Blow Up is an Animesh companion, which can follow you around and even dance with you as you celebrate the holidays in Second Life. Or for you. Santa is cool with whatever.
A few Creators have already put out quite a number of cool early creations. Check out the Animated Objects category on the Second Life Marketplace to see what’s available.
We are always striving to help our Residents achieve an immersive experience. The Environment Enhancement Project (EEP), is a series of new customizations in the environment rendering system (also known as Windlight). Soon, you will be able to create and share even more advanced environment settings including up to four different sky layers which can be set independently. Check out this preview video that shows early testing on the Second Life Beta grid from Resident Silas Merlin:
Testing also continues for Bakes on Mesh, a new feature that allows system avatar baked textures to be shown on mesh attachments. We’re hoping this will help us all ditch some of those avatar onion layers in the new year.
We also introduced the new Swaginator with two ambitious seek-and-find events. As part of our SL15B event, we created 15 limited-edition gifts for a Birthday Gift Grab grid-wide hunt that extended over a whopping 15 weeks! More recently, we held the Winter Swaginator Hunt which included five hidden gifts created exclusively for holiday hunters. There were also numerous exclusive shopping and community events, which are always a blast! Look out for the traditional Snowball Fight.
2018 In Numbers As the year comes to a close, we’ve rounded up some interesting statistics to share insight into how the Second Life community is spending its time and money.
One thing is clear: Second Lifers were a busy bunch in 2018. You spent an estimated 336 millionhours inworld in the past year alone! And there are 50 million+ chat messages daily.
Our daily concurrency rates remain stable, too. Take a look at this chart, which shows the overall traffic trends on logged in Second Life users over the past two years.
Pictured: Second Life concurrency rates from early 2017 to late 2018.
This active population helped keep the Second Life economy healthy in 2018. Approximately $65 million was paid out to Residents in the past year for a variety of items and services. On the Marketplace, there are currently over 5 million virtual goods for sale. Since we lowered prices on the Mainland and maintenance fees on Private Estates, we’ve seen some growth in the overall land market as well. For example, we saw increases across the board in land ownership - more Region owners, more parcel owners, more group-owned land, more Regions on the Grid. As many owners traded up from Openspaces and Homesteads to full Regions to take full advantage of the lower pricing, we saw growth in overall SQM owned by Residents.
So, what was popular with the Second Life community in 2018? Here are some interesting insights into General and Mature-rated places and items:
2019...Here We Come! In true Linden tradition, we didn’t get through everything we wanted to do in 2018 … but we certainly feel proud of the developments already out and we’re excited for the things to come. Stay tuned for even more improvements, including progress on our migration to the cloud, Linden Home updates, Gridwide experiences, and the much-anticipated ability to change your name!
Thank you from the entire Linden Lab staff for your continued creativity and contributions to the Second Life community. We cherish the opportunity to help this unique and amazing world flourish year to year, and we can’t wait to see what adventures await in 2019!
We wish everyone happy holidays and a wonderful New Year!
As a Premium member, you’ll enjoy rewards like exclusive Resident-created gifts, access to special Premium Sandboxes, as well as Live Chat support. Plus, you’ll get your own inworld home, a L$1000 sign-up bonus, and weekly L$ rewards to spend on whatever you like. You can read more details about Premium benefits here
Today, a new Premium gift is available! Go Premium today and jump behind the helm of your new interactive pirate airship, the Linden Marauder. Enjoy fast-action, high flying fun-near-the-sun, or menace the airways with your armament of cannons. Premium members can pick up their airships here.
The Linden Marauder is available to Premium members only. You can access the exclusive airfield in Orville to take flight, so don’t delay!
*TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR 50% DISCOUNT
This limited-time discount offer is available only for memberships on the Quarterly billing plan. Discount will be applied to the first quarterly billing cycle only, and all future charges will be at the regular Premium price. To qualify, Second Life members must have an active Basic account or create a new Second Life account. Discount offer begins on Friday the 18th of July at 8:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and expires on Monday the 4th of August 2014 at 08:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).
As we recently blogged, you can now get Second Life for Mac and PC on Amazon. We’re also offering severalbundledpackages for sale that combine L$ to get started shopping and vehicles to enjoy inworld.
We’re happy to announce our second limited-time, special promotion on Amazon: from now until January 29, 2013, you can get the Hoverboard Bonus Pack (a $12.95 value) for free.
The pack includes an exclusive, high performance designer hoverboard, with blistering turbo mode, and an original set of futurist protective gear, including a helmet, jacket, pants, leg guards, backpack, and bracer. There is a limit of one per customer, and this special offer is available only to users of the free Amazon Game Connect service, which is currently limited to customers in the US.
We are pleased to announce two changes that make it less expensive to get your own Private Island in Second Life!
Price Drop for Land Set-up Fees
Effective immediately, all new Private Island set-up fees are up to 40% cheaper! Whether you’re looking to expand your estate or just getting started with your first Private Island, it’s a great time to buy.
Here are the new, reduced set-up fees:
Full Private Island - previously $1000, now $600
Developed Full Private Island - previously $1029, now $629
Homestead Private Island - previously $375, now $225
Developed Homestead Private Island - previously $395, now $250
Openspace Private Island - previously $250, now $150
Qualified educational and nonprofit organizations will continue to receive a 50% discount off the applicable set-up fee (as well as 50% off ongoing maintenance fees). For more information about our discount program, please visit this page.
If you have paid a region set-up fee in the past 14 days, you will receive the difference in fees back as a credit (in US Dollars) to your account balance.
Previously, Private Islands with grandfathered pricing would lose that status and revert to the usual schedule of land maintenance fees when the regions were transferred to a new owner. Today, we are changing that policy to make it easier for these regions to remain on the grid if and when they are sold to new owners.
Effective immediately, both Grandfathered Full Private Island regions ($195/month) and Grandfathered Homestead Private Island regions ($95/month) may be transferred to new owners without losing the discounted pricing. However, the one-time fee for transferring grandfathered regions will be higher than the usual transfer fee, as follows:
Transfer of a Full Island, maintaining grandfathered pricing: $600/each
Transfer of a Homestead Island, maintaining grandfathered pricing: $300/each
The standard fee will still apply to all other region transfers, as well as if you choose to give up grandfathered pricing when transferring a previously grandfathered region.
Limited Time Only! 50% off Premium Membership & Premium Perks For a limited time, you can get a Premium Second Life Membership for 50 percent off*! Upgrade now at half-off and enjoy premium perks, including brand new premium gifts.
Perks for Premium subscribers include a a L$1000 sign-up bonus, exclusive access to Premium Sandboxes (special areas inworld where you can build objects, rez purchased items and meet other creative users), a weekly L$ stipend to spend on whatever you like, your own home, and special free gifts.
Limited Edition Premium Gifts Just in time for Halloween, we have some new gifts for Premium subscribers - the bag of treats includes jack o'lanterns, witches’ brooms and more - including a bone-shaking skeleton avatar to haunt your favorite spooky spots in. Go Premium, then pick up your gifts at the inworld Gift Kiosks.
Haunted Halloween Tour for Everyone - Oculus Rift or Regular Experiences Available There’s also a special treat for everyone! Come visit the Haunted Halloween Tour and ride through a terrifying gauntlet of thrills and chills! For those who dare, step through the Halloween path from the Portal Park. If you have an Oculus Rift, you can check out the tour’s VR option - just grab the latest Project Viewer to get started.
Second Life Fab-OO-lous Snapshot Contest
Last, but certainly not least - we know how much you love to dress up and show off your seasonal side this time of year - so why not join us on the forums for Second Life’s Fa-BOO-lous Snapshot Contest. Your frightful and delightful snapshots could win you L$10,000, L$5,000, L$3,000, or L$1,000!
*TERMS & CONDITIONS FOR 50% DISCOUNT This limited-time discount offer is available only for memberships on the Quarterly billing plan. Discount will be applied to the first quarterly billing cycle only, and all future charges will be at the regular Premium price; price will return to USD 22.50, excluding VAT where applicable. To qualify, Second Life members must have an active Basic account or create a new Second Life account. Discount offer begins on Wednesday the 15th of October at 08:00 am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) and expires on Monday the 3rd of November 2014 at 08:00 am Pacific Standard Time (PST).
7/2 Update: In response to this announcement, we're answering questions from the community about Tilia in our forum.
7/10 Update: As mentioned in a follow-up blog post, we'll be discussing this announcement in more detail at our official Tilia Town Hall held in Second Life on Friday, July 12 at 1 p.m. (SLT/Pacific). For those who can't join us inworld, a video and transcript will be provided soon after the live event.
We’re making some important changes to Second Life that will help us comply with U.S. laws and regulations. To do this, Linden Lab formed a new subsidiary, Tilia, to offer certain financial services to the Second Life community. While Tilia might not be a name that is familiar to many in the Second Life community, it was created to efficiently handle the ever-growing and complex needs of our operations.
Beginning on August 1, 2019, Tilia will take over certain aspects of the Second Life service. Tilia enables Linden Lab to continue the Second Life service in its current form through enhanced regulatory compliance protocols. To achieve this, Tilia will assume responsibility for managing your USD denominated account, which will be referred to as your "Tilia Account." After August 1, Tilia will handle process credit requests and payments made from your Tilia Account.
In order to stay in compliance with regulatory requirements, if you wish to process a credit, we will need certain personal information to verify your identity, including your name, address, date of birth, and social security number (or government-issued identification if you are not a U.S. Citizen). You may be required to provide additional information to complete the transaction. Tilia will securely store this information so that you should only need to provide it once.
Additionally, please note that customers under 18 years of age will not be able to process credit after August 1, 2019 until they reach the age of 18.
As always, Second Life remains free to access and enjoy! However, if your Tilia Account is inactive for a period of 12 months we will charge your Tilia Account a fee to the extent permitted by applicable law. If you have questions about the inactivity fee, please see Tilia’s Terms of Service.
Why am I required to provide personal information to Tilia and what will you do with it?
As registered money services businesses, Linden Lab and Tilia are required to comply with applicable U.S. laws and regulations. As part of our ongoing risk management process, we must obtain, verify, and record information about our customers for whom we offer financial-related services. We take your privacy and security seriously, so your personal information will continue to remain protected and will only be used for purposes that are outlined in Linden Lab’s and Tilia’s Privacy Policies. Please refer to the FAQ for more details regarding this information request.
Where can I find out more information about these changes?
We understand that there may be some questions and concerns about these new procedures, but these changes are required in order for Linden Lab to continue offering Second Life services without disruption to its economy. We relish and respect the countless contributions of Second Life Residents to the virtual world, so these changes will enable us to maintain a robust virtual economy for many years to come. For more information and context on these changes and how it may impact you, please see our FAQ.
Introducing the latest offering from our Starter Avatar Modernization project… 16 New Classic Avatars!
These new avatars are built combining mesh attachments with the original “system” process. Not only are compatibility issues being addressed, but the avatars are more performant and they look great! They can also be tweaked with the system sliders and easily dressed.
Last year, you may remember, we launched a number of new mesh avatars. They included both vampires and everyday people avatars that were built completely using mesh. While they looked good, they made outfit changes difficult and some of our internal tools were incompatible with the assets.
The new great-looking and efficient avatars will be available through the carousel during registration. Existing Residents can also access them through the “Me -> Choose an Avatar” menu in the Viewer.
In search of a new look? Try out one of our new classics today!
Owning land in Second Life has never been more valuable, and now is a great time to get your own space or expand your current land holdings.
We’ve recently rolled out increased Land Impact for all regions, and last week, Full Private Regions went up from 15,000 to 20,000 prims - a 33% increase, at no additional charge!
Starting today, Full Private Region owners now have the option to upgrade to an even more impressive 30,000 prims! That’s an additional 50% more room for creating, decorating, designing your own store - whatever you can dream up!
Upgrading to 30,000 prims costs $30 USD per Region and will incur an additional monthly maintenance fee*. For additional information about Private Region management and this Land Impact upgrade program, please visit our Knowledge Base.
To request an upgrade, pleasesubmit a case through the support portal on the Second Life website under the case type Land & Region > Land Impact Change Request.
* Upgrading a Full Region to 30,000 Land Impact costs $30 USD per region at the time of the upgrade and must be maintained for a minimum of one calendar month.When Land Impact is upgraded, Full Regions will be billed an additional $30 USD on monthly maintenance fees per region. Downgrading a Private Region back to 20,000 Land Impact will carry a fee of $30 USD per region at the time of downgrade. No pro-rating or discounting is permitted.