2010 ended on a positive note for the Second Life economy, with several key measures growing while others remained stable as compared to Q3 numbers.
Total money supply, LindeX volume, and web merchandise sales volume were all up between 6% and 8%, indicating growth in economic activity. Also, the L$ rebounded strongly from Q3, appreciating 3.7% quarter to quarter.
When comparing 2009 to 2010 measures, average monthly repeat log-ins were up 8%, average monthly economic participants were up 4.3%, annual web merchandise sales volume was up 104%, and the world size grew by 5.8%.
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
Repeat logins gained 1% this quarter. Average monthly repeat logins in 2010 rose 8% over the 2009 average.
User hours were flat this quarter, appearing to stabilize after a gradual decline in the prior four quarters. Total user hours in 2010 fell 10% from 2009.
AVERAGE MONTHLY ECONOMIC PARTICIPANTS
Economic participants were flat in Q4, remaining in the historical five-quarter range. Year over year, the 2010 average of monthly economic participants was up 4% from 2009’s average.
AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE
Increasing demand and falling supply on the LindeX caused a 3.7% appreciation in the value of the L$ in Q4.* The average L$ value in 2010 was within 1% of the average value in 2009.
*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.
Money supply grew significantly in Q4 to US$28.4m worth of L$, 8% over Q3. The year end money supply in 2010 was 11.9% over 2009.
Mirroring money supply growth, volume on the LindeX grew 8% in Q4, nearing the top end of the historical five-quarter range. Total LindeX volume in 2010 was nearly US$119m, 2.8% over 2009. This means that an additional US$4m traded hands on the LindeX in 2010.
WEB MERCHANDISE SALES VOLUME
Driven by greater merchant adoption and improved shopping features, web merchandise sales volume grew 5.8% in Q4. 2010 web sales volume was up 104% relative to 2009.
World size remained flat in Q4; 2010 year end world size was up 5.8% relative to 2009. Today, Second Life's virtual land mass would be roughly twice the size of Hong Kong.