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Second Life is King of Social Networks?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 5 comments
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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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  • 1 Hide
    djcoolmasterx , 1 October 2009 06:58
    They should try the older and more popular "First Life". The graphics are really good.
  • 0 Hide
    caparc , 1 October 2009 10:43
    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.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 2 October 2009 19:41
    There are lots of weapons in second life, it's just illegal to use them!
  • 0 Hide
    caparc , 2 October 2009 22:59
    I got interested in internet voice chat when it was just getting started and there were several companies trying to make it work. The best service was one called Firetalk because of it's ad hoc system for creating forums and appointing moderators. Then all the community voice chat services, including Firetalk went out of business except one, called paltalk, which uses something called a "room owner" system that creates a wretched, unbearable social environment. In theory a voice chat service is a unique place to discuss politics or technical issues (or flirt), not just play games with weapons. Whether it's attractive for that depends on how the community is structured for the users. Adding avatars to simultaneous voice and text chat has intriguing possibilities. I hoped 2nd Life would do a better job of implimenting voice chat but they don't get it. Oh well.
  • 0 Hide
    jemm , 7 February 2011 19:27
    There is some elements of social network in Second Life, but in my opinion, it can´t be compared to web site based networks like Facebook, MySpace, etc. If one wants to benchmark Second Life, then it should be done with other 3D worlds, otherwise you are comparing apples with bananas.