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  Linden Lab Reveals Further ‘Second Life’ Usage Data  
Posted 2006-10-02 by Tony Walsh
Linden Lab, maker of virtual world Second Life has nearly opened the lid off their oft-obscure usage statistics--unfortunately, you need to be a registered user of Second Life to review the information [update: Torley says anyone can download the data]. While the media has commonly reported lately that there are over 700,000 "residents" of Second Life, the data revealed today paints a much more realistic and detailed picture. At the time of this writing, there are 825k total "residents" of Second Life, of which:
  • 113k have logged in during the last 7 days
  • 150k have logged in during the last 2 weeks
  • 235k have logged in during the last 30 days
  • 349 have logged in during the last 60 days
As you might imagine, it's the 7-day usage stat that is the most telling, although it still hasn't been concretely defined what a "resident" is. I feel a resident could be defined as someone logs in at least once a month, for at least 15 minutes per session, but I suspect tens of percentages of users never come back after their first or second time.

My advice to anyone watching Second Life is to keep a close eye on those 7-day statistics as well as PCU (peak concurrent users), which is currently hovering around 11,000 simultaneous users. If you want an idea of Second Life's "population," these two numbers are the closest you're going to get until Linden Lab reveals a wider range of data. On any given day, it seems, you're looking at about ten thousand avatars floating around. That feels more like a "total residents" count to me. No wonder There's CEO can boast about being bigger (now if only Makena would open up about their usage data).
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Comment posted by Torley
October 2, 2006 @ 9:52 pm
Hi Tony :) While it isn't as accessible, you can download the XML and XLS data files without being a Resi:
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
October 3, 2006 @ 8:08 pm
There are only 19,000 land owners -- Philip also gave that very telling statistic (apparently doesn't include island renters).

A year ago, it was 9,000.
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
October 4, 2006 @ 11:13 am
Thanks, Torley, I'll update the post.
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
October 4, 2006 @ 11:26 am
Sorry -- correct -- more than a year ago, in June, it was 9000 premium accounts; of these, only 6000 opted to buy land, because they were buying the account mainly to get the Lindens to spend.
Comment posted by Tom
October 5, 2006 @ 8:40 pm
Jumping on this a little late... :)

One important thing to note is that the number of registered accounts (i.e. the number that could log in and contribute to the above numbers) has changed significantly over the course of the 60 days under consideration. This turns out to have a huge effect when interpreting the data.

For example, over the past 30 days, the number of accounts has gone up by roughly 213,000 (from ~622k total registered accounts a month ago up to ~835k today). If one assumes every new account logs in at least once, then the 234,888 unique logins over the past 30 days means that only 22k of the 622k accounts that existed a month ago have bothered to log in over the past 30 days. That total (approximately 3.5% of total eligible accounts) doesn't seem terribly impressive from a user retention point of view.

Similar trends can be seen when one examines the 7 and 14 day numbers. In these cases, one finds that 64,000 (out of 787k) and 40,000 (out of 723k) of the accounts that were registered prior to the time window under consideration have logged in during the 7 and 14 day periods respectively.
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
October 6, 2006 @ 12:26 pm
Tom, I was hoping someone would come along with better statistical skills than myself--thanks for crunching the numbers, I have had doubts about SL's user-retention rate, you seem to have confirmed these.
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