Linden Lab Publishes End Of Year Key Accomplishments For 2018


Daily concurrency rates remain stable since 2017

On Wednesday 19th December Linden Lab published their end of year key accomplishments and new feature highlights for 2018 which is pretty interesting to read through. The lab have added some useful statistics in the blog post on money (pay outs), hours spent inworld, daily chat messages, daily concurrency and virtual goods.

Official 2018 Statistics

  • Residents spent an estimated 336 million hours inworld 
  • 50 million+ chat messages daily 
  • Daily concurrency rates remain stable 
  • $65 million was paid out to Residents 
  • Over 5 million virtual goods for sale on the Second Life Marketplace
  • This active population helped keep the Second Life economy healthy in 2018

The lab have seen some growth in the overall land market including increases in the land ownership, more region owners, more parcel owners, more group owned land and more regions on the grid.

It’s great to see the lab publishing positive growth statistics on the Second Life official blog and to see the Second Life economy doing well is most welcome news.

2018: a look back at the year gone by

Celebrating 15 years of Second Life 

Second Life recently turned 15 and, to mark the occasion, the community held a jam-packed SL15B celebration across several crystal-themed sims. In addition, Linden Lab organized several birthday events including MusicFest and an ambitious Shopping Event. Relive the highlights in the SL15B Flickr feed.  So…  is anyone ready for SL16B yet?

Reduction in land costs

What a way to start the year! Early in 2018, we announced a 10 percent reduction in Mainland costs and doubled the Mainland allotment for Premium members. Then, in July we continued to reduce costs by lowering monthly maintenance fees on Private Estates by up to 15% with one-time land setup fees reduced by as much as 41%.  As a result, land is now more affordable than ever!

Performance updates and new features

As part of our commitment to improving Second Life, we announced plans for 15 enhancements and features on our product road-map. Many of these improvements are already in place or are close to completion, while work continues to perfect additional enhancements and features for 2019.

We’ve started making significant improvements to Marketplace including the introduction of many long-requested features, such as wishlists and tracking your favorite sellers (with a feed of their most recent items).  We also added more categories to the Marketplace:Animated ObjectsGachasAnthropomorphic, and a dedicated anime community, too.

Estate Owners also saw improvements to the Land Manager page including web-based region restarts. There is also an Estate Access Management Release Candidate Viewer, which simplifies many Estate Management tasks, including ban list improvements.  It will be making its way to the default release soon.

Speaking of land … there is the overhaul for Auctions with several key improvements and a serious facelift – and we’ll soon add the ability for Residents to create Auctions to sell the land that they own.

In November, we unveiled the long-anticipated debut of Animesh, which allows independent objects to use rigged mesh and animations. We’re already starting to see some creative ways to take advantage of Animesh.  This new “dancing Santa” from Blow Up is an Animesh companion, which can follow you around and even dance with you as you celebrate the holidays in Second Life. Or for you. Santa is cool with whatever.

Environment Enhancement Project (EEP)

The Environment Enhancement Project (EEP), is a series of new customizations in the environment rendering system (also known as Windlight). Soon, you will be able to create and share even more advanced environment settings including up to four different sky layers which can be set independently. Check out this preview video that shows early testing on the Second Life Beta grid from Resident Silas Merlin:

Testing also continues for Bakes on Mesh, a new feature that allows system avatar baked textures to be shown on mesh attachments.  We’re hoping this will help us all ditch some of those avatar onion layers in the new year.

New Experiences 

Fans of Linden Realms new and old saw not one, but two updates in 2018.  A limited-time and dramatic update Linden Realms: The Wrath of Ruth soon gave way to its full-featured successor Linden Realms: The Search for Magellan.

We also introduced the new Swaginator with two ambitious seek-and-find events. As part of our SL15B event, we created 15 limited-edition gifts for a Birthday Gift Grab grid-wide hunt that extended over a whopping 15 weeks! More recently, we held the Winter Swaginator Hunt which included five hidden gifts created exclusively for holiday hunters. There were also numerous exclusive shopping and community events, which are always a blast!  Look out for the traditional Snowball Fight.

Here are the interesting insights into General and Mature-rated places and items:

TOP MARKETPLACE CATEGORIES 2018 (by Web Traffic)
1. Apparel (General)
2. Women’s Apparel
3. Avatar Accessories
4. Home & Garden
5. Complete Avatars
6. Avatar Components
7. Avatar Appearance
8. Animations
9. Buildings & Other Structures 
10. Men’s Apparel

TOP DESTINATION GUIDE CATEGORIES (by Web Traffic)

1. Games
2. Editor’s Picks
3. Recently Added
4. Premium Gifts
5. Photogenic Spots
6. Shopping Events
7. Adventure & Fantasy
8. Featured Events
9. Freebie Spots
10. Role-playing Communities

2019: the year ahead for Second Life

You can expect to see more improvements made to Second Life in 2019 including new grid-wide experiences, the ability to change your name, migration to the cloud and Linden Home updates.

Second Life will turn 16 years old in June 2019 and it’s going to be incredible.

To add to this is Animesh and EEP will have a much more positive impact I think in Second Life in 2019. According to Linden Lab this week last names are taking a bit longer than expected but it’s definitely still being worked on. It will be interesting to see what the new SSP regions will be used for next year. It will be good to see the regions finally open to the public.

I think communications between the lab and the Second Life community will improve even more next year. Another year of Linden Lab user group hours will take place for sure along with music, town hall events. Hopefully Second Life will continue to grow further next year (more regions, sales etc) with probably more interesting announcements along the way.

We will have to wait and see.


Have any highlights from 2018 ? What do you think will happen in 2019 for Second Life ?

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Top 10 Interesting Updates From The Recent Town Hall Event


Ebbe Altberg Town Hall Meeting
Ebbe Altberg At Town Hall Meeting
Here are some of the updates that I found most interesting in simple terms during the recent town hall event with Ebbe Altberg the CEO of Linden Lab on Thursday 13th September 2018. To see the whole video of the Town Hall session, see my previous blog post. It’s definitely worth watching. I hope there will be many more Town Hall sessions in the future with more announcements.

1. Return of Last Names

Linden Lab set a goal to return last names in Second Life in 2018. It’s now probably going to be returning either at the end of 2018 or sometime in 2019. There is no date when it will be deployed but the team are on it.

2. Animesh

It’s apparently very close to release and the Environment Enhancement Project is close to public testing very soon.
  • Bakes on Mesh is still progressing and should appear before the end of the year

3. Second Life In The Cloud

Moving Second Life to a cloud infrastructure will not be completed until 2019 as it’s a long-term project. There may be more water spaces to connect between existing continents (TBC).

4. Linden Homes

The land team are working hard on things at the moment and it’s being determined if the new land will be deployed in stages or all at once. More details will be revealed before the end of 2018.

5. Tier Rates

Currently there will no plans to further change the tier rates in Second Life. The lab is still absorbing the data from the June 2018 private region restructure. The reducing of the price of land has definitely helped and the overall responses have been positive.

6. New Premium Subscription Options

There may a project that can start to be rolled out before the end of 2018. The main goals is to offer greater value to users and motivate more users to sign up to Premium levels.

7. Linux Viewer

There is a project that will try to produce a 64-bit .DEB version of the Linux viewer. This is not a priority for the viewer development stage at this time. The lab finds this a difficult issue and Linux represents a small percentage of Second Life users.

8. Second Life Economic Metrics

Apparently some metrics have been restored but not all metrics will restored. Not all of the economic data is suitable for public consumption as the lab is a business in competition with others.

9. Apple Metal Framwork (OpenGL Support)

The lab are in discussions over what steps to take next. As it stands there no plans to drop mac support as a result of Apple’s decision.

10. Re-Introducing 24 Hours Support For Non-US users

There are no plans to bring it back on the basis of the cost, covering time zones and languages etc.

Other updates worth mentioning

  • New games and experiences are coming very soon
  • Marketplace improvements are starting to show up and more on the way soon
  • The new land auctions process has been deployed and the Mainland land auctions are still yet to come
  • Grid-wide experiences may not be deployed before the end of 2018
  • The lab have done a number of tests for the new themed learning islands

I would love to know what you found most interesting during the town hall event ?.

Feel free to comment below.

Second Life Last Names Returning Late 2018


This week Linden Lab announced fifteen reasons to celebrate Second Life 15th birthday which takes place in mid June 2018. On the list there was mention about the return of last names which is expected to go live in late 2018. Before then there are many things that have to be fixed on the back-end before last names can return again.

Latest Updates

  • Apparently the plan is to allow people to change their first and last name whenever they want to. Users will be able to select their last name from a pre-set list of available names like the old system before
  • Unicode will not be supported when entering a first name
  • Once a name is used it cannot ever be reused again
  • The first and last name will not replace Display Names
  • The pre-set list with last names will regularly be changed to keep the fresh and the lab are thinking about last name suggestions from the Second Life community later this year.
  • There will be a cost to change your name if you wish to do that. The fee costs have not been confirmed yet

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