Second Life's new player builds toward Web

Linden Labs has just released a new player for its virtual world, Second Life. This is important because it makes significant moves toward the Web and shows a new strategy: one of integrating into social networks (much of that shift has yet to come, Linden Lab’s CEO, Mark Kingdon told me in an interview embedded here):

I’ve linked to the new player, a FAQ, and started a discussion on Google Buzz, join us here.

In the interview Mark reveals quite a bit of other info about how Second Life is doing, including how many visits, minutes spent, and other info. It might shock you how well Second Life is doing, even though many people are reacting to my early tweets with messages like “I thought it was dead.”


  1. Thanks for posting the vid. Actually i had a look at second life just the other day – I enjoyed my 15 minutes thoroughly – time well spent. As a matter there were around 65,000 + people online at that time and even got some convos going.

    Loved the UI on the player (standalone not web app) – easy to get around and pretty much self explanatory. With 481,000,000 hours spent online by users in 2009 you bet they'd want to find innovative ways to empower their users with upto date feature-sets.

    So from noob to interested in 15 minutes. State of the art is an understatement, this is the bleeding edge of virtual social 3D..

  2. I'm speechless with horror. Looks like they completely excised “Search/Places” and other tab places (working on the principle of in favour of just the huge grab-bag of a “Search/All” box.

    I can't tell you what a blow to the economy this will be.

  3. Second Life will need to solve the follow
    . its ackward & difficult user management. Not user friendly
    . its sexual environment

    Unfortunately the “brand” Second Life is a “has been”!

  4. I highly doubt it. I think the lack of an in-browser app is one of SL's biggest problems. I mean, what's the point of a virtual world if you always have to have a real-world laptop with you – always being stuck behind a computer (that you have to have privileges to install an app on – a good example would be school- or work-encironments) isn't practical since so many people are on the move nowadays. Because of that, millions of mobile web users will never have the opportunity to use it.

  5. Really thought this interview captured something very important and vital to Second Life, and that is enthusiasm. From Robert Scobles' smile and questions, to M Lindens body language, which spoke yards about how much this incredible place means. “Pulled a mountain out the ocean with my bare hands!” That rings SO true!
    It is state of the art and its beyond the flat applicatioons of facebook because it is so real time and such a shared experience. In terms of great shared media – I sent my first tweet from a prim tonight, and the possibilities for immersive intelligence on all fronts is incredible.
    Not only is this the next step for social media it is the next step for branded communities. “Time is the new currency,” and here it is possible to spend that time and create a real community around something of import. For me, I use it as a media platform, and it works very well.

    There is so much that Second Life has to offer, and so much promise for those who will take some time to find it. As in any new country, there might be some strangeness and lack of the familiar, but that is part of the wonder and charm as you don't have to get on a plane to travel, you just have to log in.
    Linden Labs have done a stunning job of trying to help the new user find their way, and that they care is evidenced in how much effort has gone into these new products. The people who belong to Second life are “residents' and anyone who has ventured to a new blog or article about Second Life can see the passion and persuasiveness those of us who have a “second home” here feel.
    Just like anyplace, that which you seek is what you will find. If you haven't been in a while, it is worth a look as the world, developed, cultivated and brought to much exquisite bloom by those
    of us who understand it, has a lot to offer.

    Is it for everyone? Probably not, nothing is after all.
    But is it for you? Well, have a look, have an open mind and give me a shout if you need help.
    I was once new myself, and you know someone helped me and it became my responsibility to help others. I hope you feel the same way one day too.
    Pooky Amsterdam

  6. Thanks for sharing this post! It's interesting to see how businesses like IBM use Second Life to expand their marketing capabilities. It makes me wonder if more companies will look to invest in Second Life, and how this could change the PR industry down the road. It seems like a lot of upkeep and would mean a huge learning curve — and so many businesses are still trying to master how to engage in Twitter and Facebook. Will Second Life be the next big thing, or is it just too much of a reach?

  7. well lots of Twitter and Facebook this seems to be something different as all others will vanish within some years to come as there is lots improvements in technologies people will be living in complete virtual world.

  8. My issue with Second Life these days is that it is no longer imagined by creators and designers. After Phil stepped away from his creation he left it in the hands of capitalists. Power to them for marketing a product to the best of their ability I will not be grudge them on that, though what Mark Kingdon and his ilk do not understand is that the builders and creators are the back bone of this environment with the rest of the population as a result…not the other way around. Removing the build tools to accommodate those not willing to climb a learning curve no steeper than photo shop because it interferes with their ability to cyber club and cyber sex and cyber shop is the wrong direction.

    Heading into its seventh year I think it is time to re-evaluate the building tools and give the content creators a more intuitive design, for example moving the tools off the floating tab and to the left side of the client interface as most design tools again as photo shop offer. Moving them off the main client and hiding them in an advanced feature is counterproductive to the essense of Second Life and shows the direction of Mark's thinking…his wallet.

  9. I think this is great! It has been just recently that I have heard of this virtual world. But still i just don't get the reason why i should spend hours of my time playng this game. But nice game anyways.