Linden Lab Looks Back At 2021 & Looks Forward To 2022


On Thursday 23rd December Linden Lab released it’s 2021 – Second Life Year In Review blog post mentioning some of the main highlights of the year. The lab reflects on the key accomplishments for 2021 from the succesful migration to the cloud, performance improvements, new features, new user experience improvements, the release of two different Linden Home themes and more.

2021 Key Highlights

  • Improved speed and cadence of updates in performance. Overhauling the new user experience (welcome islands/new user guidebook), various UI and search improvements
  • The infrastructure in the Cloud improved throughout 2021
  • Chalet and Fantasy Linden Home themes were released. Newbrooke will be available very soon
  • Receiving group notices in email
  • More time limited themed last names became available through 2021
  • Support for multi-factor authentication was introduced this year
  • New 360 Snapshot Tool enables 360-degree snapshots
  • Over 140 Second Life Marketplace updates and fixes. Like these highlights like “tying Marketplace into the overall single sign-on (SSO) system, adding a “Save For Later” feature in the shopping cart, adding bulk redelivery for merchants, as well as fixing several issues and improving speed and stability”. 
  • And more!

There was mentions of Ebbe Altberg who sadly passed away earlier this year and Oz Linden who retired earlier this year. Brad Oberwager (Oberwolf Linden) stepped in as the Executive Chairman following the succesful acquisition of Linden Lab by an investment group run by Randy Waterfield.

Linden Lab mentions the 2022 roadmap in the blog post which sounds pretty interesting. Stay tuned for more Lab Gab episodes and weekly user group office hours which are planned. The annual shopping and larger popular events will be happening next year.

  • Avatar “expressiveness” that brings camera-based gestures and movement to your avatar for a whole new level of interaction and connectedness
  • Premium Plus – a new upgrade option with added features and extras
  • A new mobile viewer to enhance and improve your Second Life experience
  • Improved group chat reliability
  • Viewer and script performance improvements 
  • New user avatar customization and improvements
  • Updated mesh optimizer
  • Search engine improvements
  • Improved materials and terrain
  • Adding web marketplace variants
  • …and much more!

I think Avatar “expressiveness” sounds like it’s going to be pretty big and i’m sure going to be awesome. Premium Plus is a big one to watch as many have wanted this for some time. The new mobile viewer is still happening so that’s great to hear. The other improvements listed under that will make Second Life sound pretty good during 2022.

Linden Lab mentions the metaverse relating to the big name change announcement from Facebook to Meta recently. From the sounds of things there is “genuine concern about Facebook’s plans in this space”. Let’s see what happens in 2022 and 2023. It’s still early days yet.

Marketing the “Metaverse”
So, perhaps you have heard of this new thing called the metaverse? ;)  Unless you’ve been living under a rock (virtual or otherwise), you probably already know that Facebook recently changed its corporate name to Meta as they work on their own vision and version of a “metaverse.” While we appreciate that this development has super-charged interest in virtual worlds, we also know that there is genuine concern about Facebook’s plans in this space given its spotty reputation on many issues including consumer data privacy and protections.

At Second Life, we’re proud that we don’t monetize, sell, or share consumer data – and we’ve been heartened to see the mainstream media reevaluate our own virtual world amidst the heightened interest in all-things-metaverse including a renewed recognition and celebration of our pioneering contributions to the concepts of virtual economies, cultures, and communities.

What have been your highlights of 2021 in Second Life ? Feel free to share in comments below. Have a great Christmas everyone.