As we recently announced, we’re making multi-million dollar investments in Second Life that will benefit Residents in the near and long term, while also ensuring that the virtual world’s bright future ahead is even more awesome than its 14+ year history has been. Exciting times!
Today, we want to update the Resident community on some of the initiatives funded by those investments, and also announce two fee changes that will enable us to invest in even more Second Life improvements in the future.
Updates to LindeX and Credit Processing Fees
Second Life’s vibrant Linden Dollar economy and the ability to process credits has a very real impact on the lives of many around the world. Residents have built extremely successful businesses in Second Life, charitable organizations have raised millions of dollars for important causes, and a great many creators earn enough L$’s to fund their hobbies and shopping habits.
Underlying SL’s user-to-user economy and the ability to buy and sell L$’s for real currency is a significant amount of ongoing work to ensure that everything remains compliant with applicable laws and regulations, while also preventing fraud and money laundering. This work comes at a cost, and we are adjusting related fees in order to help cover those costs and enable us to continue to invest in Second Life’s future. The changes are as follows:
Effective today, the fee for buying L$ on the LindeX will be $0.99 per transaction (previously it had been $0.60 per transaction). These changes impact only buys on the LindeX, and the fees associated with buying L$'s during SL Marketplace transactions remain unchanged.
On January 3, 2018, the fee for processing credit transactions (i.e. paying real money into a PayPal or Skrill account) will be 2.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum, and no maximum. This fee is currently 1.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum and a $25 (USD) maximum.
New & Upcoming Improvements to Second Life
We’re investing across a number of areas for SL, including new features, engineering support, customer support, billing systems and upgrades, and customer acquisition outreach. Some of these will be long-term initiatives, but here are a few updates on some of the improvements you can enjoy right now (or very soon!):
More fun, for everyone in SL. We introduced SL’s first grid-wide game Tyrah & the Curse of the Magical Glytches, giving all Residents a new experience to enjoy throughout SL. The game is designed to encourage a grid-wide level of participation and exploration, and already it’s been played by nearly 5,000 Residents. Very soon, we will enable Resident-owned locations to host portions of the game, and we will announce those details when ready.
New creative tools. We recently released Animesh in beta, enabling creators to use skeletal animations with non-avatar objects - like wild animals, pets, vehicles, and scenery objects. Coming soon is EEP! (Environmental Enhancements Project), a series of extensions to Windlight that enable you to trade or sell your own environment settings. EEP will also allow Parcel-based environment settings and an extended day cycle too!
More value for Premiums subscribers. In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out a new perk for Premium subscribers (hint: it’s a feature that’ll be helpful for merchants and shoppers...).
More customers for your businesses. We’re making changes to help get new users active in the SL economy more quickly and easily. The sooner a new user has L$ in her wallet and understands how to use them, the sooner she can become a customer for every business owner in SL, and so we’re working to streamline user flows and update tutorials to make that happen.
New ways to stop the bad guys. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for successful platforms to attract cheaters and bad actors. Some of these villains attempt to hurt Residents’ businesses by bypassing creator protections in SL, and we’re continually developing new tools and techniques to combat this. Recently, we closed an exploit that fraudulent gacha re-sellers had used. Our governance team can now catch them when they attempt the cheating method that we have already fixed. Many bad actors have already been banned from SL, and additional changes will soon make our team even more effective. Protecting your creations and your SL businesses is important to us!
We continue to make progress in the massive upgrade to SL infrastructure and move to the cloud (we call this project Brave New World). This move will (among many other things), help make SL more performant for Residents around the world, and may also enable us to introduce new products and more flexible pricing in the future.
We continue on our mission of only sending email to verified addresses (more here). Missing IMs lately? To never miss an offline IM again, log in to your account on the web, click on “Account,” then “Change Email Settings,” and then simply click “Verify” next to your current address.
Much more to come!
Of course, we’re working on improvements to the SL Viewer, Simulator (servers), and Web properties all the time, and there’s more than we can fit into a single blog post. As we forge ahead you can keep up with the latest developments with the release notes we post to the forums: