The Second Life economy continues to be steady, with nearly all key measures staying within a narrow range of just a few percentage points up or down over the last year. The largest changes compared to last year's Q3 were an increase of 7.2% in World Size, a decline of 11% in User Hours, and a 115% increase in Web Merchandise Sales Volume.
Over the last year, the number of people participating in the economy has also been consistent, ranging from 480,000 to 496,000 (currently 486,000), as has L$ Supply, which has ranged from US$25.4 million to US$26.2 million, and was at a 12-month high in Q3.
For a definition of the metrics in this post, please see this wiki page. Click on each image below to see a larger version.
AVERAGE MONTHLY REPEAT LOGINS
Average Monthly Repeat Logins fell 2.1% from Q2 but still rose 5.3% year over year.
User Hours fell 3.7% from Q2 and 11.0% year over year. The most significant quarter-to-quarter loss of user hours was from the heaviest usage segment (accounts logging over 300 hours per month).
AVERAGE MONTHLY ECONOMIC PARTICIPANTS
Active economic participants fell 1.0% from Q2 and year over year.
AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE
As expected from the fluctuations in June, the average exchange rate of L$ per US$ rose 1.7% from Q2, or 2.5% year over year. Note that a rise in the L$ exchange rate represents a drop in the value of the L$, as one US$ now buys more L$ than it did last quarter.
The equivalent US$ value of all Resident-held L$ grew 1.2% from Q2, or 6.1% year over year. Although there may have been fewer economically active accounts in Q3, this suggests the L$ in those accounts did not exit Second Life.
LindeX volume in Q3 fell 3.8% from Q2 and 2.8% from Q3 2009. With fewer economic participants, there was less need to replenish L$ balances from the LindeX.
WEB MERCHANDISE SALES VOLUME
Total sales volume on both Xstreet SL and the new SL Marketplace rose 8.5% from Q2 and grew 115.2% year over year. Note that the SL Marketplace was only in beta during Q3 and makes up less than 10% of total Q3 Web volume.
Total world size fell 1.4% from Q2 and grew 7.2% year over year.