Second Life is King of Social Networks?

Second Life developer Linden Labs released a few numbers last week, revealing that its users have spent one billion hours socializing and building the virtual world. Unlike most MMORPGs, Second Life isn't necessarily a task-oriented game, nor does it offer any kind of role-playing elements. In fact, many will argue that it's not a game at all, but a virtual social website. Linden Labs agrees, comparing its creation with other popular destinations.

"Second Life Residents spend an average of about 100 minutes in-world per visit," the company reported in this press release. "This average session time is significantly greater than those seen with popular social networking Web sites and reveals the uniquely high level of engagement Residents have with Second Life."

Linden Labs also provided additional interesting details surrounding Second Life, reporting that residents have spent more than (the equivalent of)  $1 billion USD in transactions between each Resident, purchasing virtual goods and services from one another. Residents are also creating more than 250,000 new virtual goods each day, have used more than 18 billion minutes of voice chat since 2007, and send approximately 1,250 text-based messages each day. Linden Labs also said that the virtual terrain of Second Life is roughly the size of Rhode Island.

With that said, it's difficult to throw Second Life into the same group as Facebook, MySpace, and other social networks. But in relation to selling virtual goods, Second Life does take the grand prize, but then again, Facebook and other static social sites are focused on an entirely different network of people. Could Second Life really be considered as the king of social networks?

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  • They should try the older and more popular "First Life". The graphics are really good.
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  • I lurked around 2nd life some. The virutal spaces are so huge they always seem empty even if other people are around. Most places I visited were empty. It didn't seem voice chat was used much. Everybody was texting. The voice chat opportunity was poorly implimented. if you you keyed the mic you could be heard for miles around. Instead it should only work when when the avatars are close together, normal speaking distances. The other problem with having voice chat is it interfers with the fantasy. The voice may not match the avatar. But mostly the problem was there's nothing going on. I haven't been back there in some months.
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  • There are lots of weapons in second life, it's just illegal to use them!
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