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animats

SL usage statistics

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The  usage statistics for Second Life seem inconsistent. Supposedly SL gets about 11,000 new signups each day. Yet there are never more than about 50,000 people in world. Either the numbers are wrong, new users get fed up really quickly, or SL's login system is under attack by bots.

The number I'd really like to see is the number of active users - active meaning "moved or communicated". AFKs and bots should not count.

 

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Hi Animats!

Don't forget that some of those New User Signups are going to be existing users creating alts.  While I do not imagine it accounts for a large chunk of the signups (I do not have access to that information to check), since accounts are free, there are bound to be a lot of users with mulitple accounts. 

I, myself, have 4, including my work account. :)

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and as for that 50,000. let's imagine a hypothetical situation,lets say at midnight 50,000 people log on, and they all stay on until 1, when 10,000 log off and an another 10,000 log on, this happens every hour so after 24 hours, 280.000 people have been online. If half of those people do that again the next day (we all know not everyone does this every day) but they are replaced the second day by a new 140000, We have over two days 420,000 people online but never more than 50,000 at a time. This assumes that everyone logs on at least an hour and no one is ever away more than one day.

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Or consider a hypothetical situation where about 40%-60% of the users logged on are alts or bots, and real usage is about half what LL claims. That's consistent with what you see in world.

We're guessing. The numbers LL lets out are all ones that reflect past glories (like total signups ever), or are inflated by alts.

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5 minutes ago, animats said:

Or consider a hypothetical situation where about 40%-60% of the users logged on are alts or bots, and real usage is about half what LL claims. That's consistent with what you see in world.

We're guessing. The numbers LL lets out are all ones that reflect past glories (like total signups ever), or are inflated by alts.

And this matters HOW?

If you are happy here and having fun and some of us making a fair amount of money each month, does it really matter all that much? Ebbe in the Town Hall meeting said that overall population was going down consistently and VERY slowly for many years (maybe since 2009 but you would have to look at the video to check that -- or maybe you needed to be there and it was mentioned after the camera was turned off and questions were asked). 

This is NOT NEW NEWS. So flag waving with "SL IS ON DEATH'S DOOR" isn't really going to get much but a few raised eyebrows. 

 

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24 minutes ago, animats said:

The numbers LL lets out are all ones that reflect past glories (like total signups ever), or are inflated by alts.

Does it matter? Really?

  • The number of real people online varies daily between 28K and 52K - this are true people.
  • When there is a long major grid problem the number of avatars remaining online sits at 15K - Many or Most of these will be bots

So, true people online - around 30K at any one time. As few stay online 24 hours any single unit of those 30K might be made of 8 or 10 real people

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More on "Does it matter, really".

SL is on the long tail, it's been on the long tail since 2010 or so. It will always be on the long tail.

But even now there are a huge number more people online than in 2006 when the grid couldn't sustain a concurrency of 2000.

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5 hours ago, animats said:

 or are inflated by alts.

i  think you confuse alts with bots....

alts are mostly very normal users....

Edited by Ethan Paslong
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As someone who arrived "mid-surge" back in 2006 and who left in 2009 and has now returned I find this obsession on overall number of users to be somewhat pointless for anyone who doesn't work for Linden Labs. 

The really important "stat" is one that can't really be quantified. That is "overall quality of users". When I was first on Second Life it was fun, don't get me wrong. But it was a glorious mess, griefing was everywhere, annoying trolls (not the cool fantasy kind either...) were on every sim. Now... griefing, trolling and stalking still happen yet not anywhere near the scale they used to. 

The normies, those interested in a fad, are gone. Now it is mostly those who are invested emotionally or financially in Second Life left. I met a bunch of trolling nasty people the other day at a shopping event who were trying to cause trouble... all them had expensive and personalised avatars. I thought to myself "These guys have really put some time and thought into this performance..." Even the trolls are better quality now! 

What this means is we get genuinely awesome creations from dedicated and skilled creators. We get fun, happy online experiences with people equally invested in those experiences. We should be focusing on improving that quality of user (especially through outreach to and retention of newbies) and let the numbers ebb and flow as they will. 

I know some of the more jaded long-term members, still hurting from the regular Linden Lab shake-ups of rules of yesteryear, can forget this sometimes but... Second Life is amazing. And I'm so glad to have come back. 

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8 hours ago, animats said:

The numbers LL lets out are all ones that reflect past glories (like total signups ever), or are inflated by alts.

Also, though, the historical data is contaminated in different ways from the current data. In particular, past peak concurrency levels were massively inflated by traffic-gaming schemes (bots, perpetually AFK campers, etc.), an artifact of the search algorithm of the time. At the same time, there were casinos all over the grid, and when that got constrained to legally-sustainable conditions, a lot of those residents left; there's no way SL can change (more than the current gaming policy) to attract them back again in the same volumes.

The slow and steady leakage, though... yeah, Ebbe talks about wanting growth again, so usage numbers and new user retention both matter. The thing is, though, SL sign-ups have always been absurdly high compared to concurrency (or MAU or whatever). Some of that is undoubtedly due to problems with retaining new users, but after all these years I've given up trying to interpret that magnitude, only hoping somebody with more detailed data is studying trends in how few sign-ups convert to active users.

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Yeah the key to growing is not getting more people to sign up (people will always try new things, there is a constant supply), the trick is keeping them staying around...

Edited by Fionalein
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14 hours ago, animats said:

The number I'd really like to see is the number of active users - active meaning "moved or communicated".

Move or communicate is NOT the definition of active in SL, you can be scripting, or building or sorting your inventory, or setting up outfits, or many many other things, and not MOVE or COMMUNICATE at all.

Only clueless noobs assume people who don't run around or use voice spam or gesturebate constantly are, and I'll quote a particularly fine example of the breed, who accused the ENTIRE population of Zindra of being...

"dummy avatars and npc's"

Because when he IM'd them in their skyboxe homes, with "Hi I R 5 week old noob, TALK TO MEH" they ignored him and carried on with their own SLives in their  own SL homes. Do you remember him, Animats? You should...

11 hours ago, animats said:

of the users logged on are alts or bots

STOP obsessing over "alts & bots" as you have made it abundantly clear you have no idea how to tell them apart, a have no idea what an alt is.

An ALT is a REAL HUMAN BEING, logging into SL, using a different name. Comparing the figures for how many accounts are logged into SL at any given time, and the fluctuations due to time of day, day of week, etc., suggest 15,000 bots at most, and the rest of the 30,000-50,000 being actual people.

So what if they name they log in with today isnt the same one they used yesterday Big deal, stop whining about alts.

14 hours ago, animats said:

new users get fed up really quickly,

Yeah, a lot of them do...

"Hi I R leet tipe-wid-mah-fumbs console pessant dumfone ussa, wi r dis game so hard, what r dah missions, wi r da grafix so old an slo, wi cant i plai on mah Sontendsoft PlayCube One? Dis R SUK I R leev now, an neva ***** bak, u need fix dis game lots soon or it fail, suk game lyk dis wont last to selebrat it secund berfday"

But hey that's ok, most of us SecondLifers don't want people like that here anyway.
 

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14 hours ago, animats said:

Either the numbers are wrong, new users get fed up really quickly, or SL's login system is under attack by bots.

I'm not sure Linden Lab has ever released official numbers, but as long as I've been in SL (since 2005!) they've talked a lot about how bad new user retention is, and the efforts they continue to go through to improve in that area. I could easily see a lot of people logging into SL the first time, seeing how bad the graphics and performance are, getting frustrated by the poor new user tutorials, and just giving up. If not immediately then soon after. I don't have to imagine it. I know dozens of people offline who've tried SL and were not impressed. I was one of those people. My first experience in SL was so bad I cancelled my account to get my $10 back. I believe my statement at the time was, "Dis R SUK I R leev now, an neva ***** bak, u need fix dis game lots soon or it fail" Or something to that effect.

I didn't look at SL again until almost a year later, when a friend of mine helped me bypass the new user areas and showed me what SL offered much better than LL had. Whenever LL introduced a new introductory experience to SL I'd give it a try to see whether or not things had improved.

Even if you do happen to have a friend in SL to show you the ropes, it just isn't that easy to get into and enjoy. But this isn't an insurmountable hurdle, either, and I firmly believe there is a lot LL can do that will improve new user retention. A lot of what LL has been saying and doing lately gives me hope that they'll finally make some headway on this problem, and that will be a good thing for all of us.

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3 hours ago, Fionalein said:

Yeah the key to growing is not getting more people to sign up , (people will always try new things,there is a constant supply) the trick is keeping them staying around...

I try to do my part by showing newbies how much fun SL can be

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2 minutes ago, sirhc DeSantis said:

I know where that term comes from - going to call me a Chad now hmm?

You...

1) Know more than me

2) Imagine I'm a member of a club I'm unaware of. 

That term is just.. a term as far as I know. 

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19 hours ago, animats said:

eally like to see is the number of active users - active meaning "moved or communicated". AFKs and bots should not count.

 

So if I log in for a few days and stay on my platform doing interesting things like building, scripting...  and do not talk to you - I am a Bot?

Oh I forgot, 'social'.

Who taught you research methodology :) Same one who led you to believe there are 50 k who get 1k messages a day? Awesome

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13 hours ago, Ethan Paslong said:

i  think you confuse alts with bots....

alts are mostly very normal users....

They both bloat the numbers though. It's not at all uncommon for people to be logged on with two or more alts at the same time. They may be running several characters in a role play, they may want to be visibly present more than one place, they may be adjusting couple poses, they may be boosting the traffic at some event or they may be playing the Lucky Chair game with as many alts (with different first letters) as possible.

 

19 hours ago, animats said:

Or consider a hypothetical situation where about 40%-60% of the users logged on are alts or bots

Yes, that sounds about right. But who knows?

 

19 hours ago, animats said:

and real usage is about half what LL claims.

When LL says anything about it at all, they give us the best figures they have themselves. But with no way to track alts and bots, they can't really know much either.

But LL defines "active users" as the number of accounts that have been logged on at least once during the last 30 days. Last number I heard was about 900,000 but that was a while ago and it's probably a little bit less by now. Dakota is four of those 900,000, I am six of them...

We can be fairly sure that the number of actual human beings who log on to SL regularly over at least several months of time. The one-timers (newxomers who log on once, don't like what they see and leave) alone make up about a third of the "active users". Then there are the old-timers who haven't lgged on for years and won't log on again for another few years, the bots and the alts.

My best estimate is that the number of people who enjoy Second Life on a reasonably regular basis is no less than 50,000 and no more than 200,000. If I was pushed for a more precise answer, I'd guess somewhere between 80,000 and 120,000.

I really wish we had a more reliable answer than that but it's the best I can come up with. I presented the whole analyzis and the data it was based on in another thread here a while ago and at that time, nobody was able to come up with anything better. Maybe somebody can today?

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