SecondLife Reaches 150,000 Accounts

by matthiaszander on 27/02/06 at 7:03 am

Late Sunday, SecondLife finally reached the mark of having 150,000 residents, no, paying accounts, wait, no, active accounts, hmmm, accounts – 50,000 residents and their 100,000 alts would perhaps be closer to the actual count.  The number, as shown on the SecondLife website, is updated daily, and jumped from 149,505 to 150,107 at its update early this morning.  We at the Herald ask what this means for the future of SecondLife.  With the free accounts becoming more and more popular, greater strain seems to be put upon Linden Lab’s servers without payment for that strain.  In addition, if they begin to use advertising saying that there are 150,000 active members of SecondLife, will there be any negative outcry for false advertising (since we all know that there are not 150,000 active members)?  Only time will tell, but until then, we congratulate SecondLife on reaching a milestone in its population.

8 Responses to “SecondLife Reaches 150,000 Accounts”

  1. My Second Life

    Feb 27th, 2006

    150.000 Einwohner!

    Es ist soweit: Die nächste Marke ist für Second Life erreicht! 150.000 Einwohner und die Zahl steigt:

    Late Sunday, SecondLife finally reached the mark of having 150,000 residents, no, paying accounts, wait, no, active accounts, hmmm, accounts – 50,0…

  2. Satchmo Prototype

    Feb 27th, 2006

    You can see the expansion of Second Life leaking out onto the blogosphere. For at least 6 months I’ve had a persistent Google Blog Search ( for the term “Second Life” and as the numbers on the homepage rise, so does the frequency and diversity of blogs that post entries about SL.

  3. Walker Spaight

    Feb 27th, 2006

    No doubt things are growing. Would be nice if the company gave us a clearer picture of how fast, though. Real-world buisinesspeople (and everyone else, for that matter) have access to detailed census and demographic information that helps them make decisions about their business, where to buy a home, where to look for a job, etc. There’s no reason raw data like that should be available to residents of SL. But instead, the company chooses to run the Grid like a game, obfuscating data about usage that would be helpful to business, which would in turn promote more businesses to use the Grid, and which would ultimately only help the company. Seems ridiculous to me, but then I’m only a lowly virtual newspaper editor. (Notice I didn’t call myself “humble.”)

  4. MJ Hathor

    Feb 27th, 2006

    I completely agree with Walker’s post. I’m also thinking that alot of those numbers include residents who make an account and then log in to second life once just to see what its all about and then they never return. I know I have done that myself with a few online worlds. I go try the free trial and then never return. Most of those will let you delete your account upon leaving though. SL doesn’t allow you to do that.

    Also, I’m sure those numbers include those who just got tired of SL and no longer play. Some haven’t logged in since 2003. I think the true number is the somewhere around the average daily online number. Which varies between 3 to 5,000.


  5. Prokofy Neva

    Feb 27th, 2006

    When you make a basic account for free in SL, it never seems to cancel. You’re not required to keep logging in to keep it active, so no doubt they have a lot of dead wood. I frequently see 512s with stray prims or junk on them and the owners never log in to clear or sell the lots and never answer their capped emails — because they don’t have to, they can remain forever and forget about it. When you try to cancel a premium, in fact, you’re asked “Do you want to keep your account for free and go down to basic?” so many people actually motivated to go through a “quit” menu end up keeping at least the basic.

    The real numbers we need to determine the health of the world and of business is the number of premium accounts, and of these, the number of those with premium accounts who chose to buy only 512, and of those, the number who chose to tier up above 512 to own more land. Owning land is a sign of commitment to the game in some fasion, or business or pleasure, or, to look at it another way, a sign of civilization and the world stabilizing.

    These numbers are important, because they let you know who is hooked on SL enough to buy land, put up a house or a store, or become more ambitious with a big project, private island, or multi-sim business or entertainment or estate.

    Back when we had only 40,000 people listed, around last May-June, I would ask for these numbers over and over, to find out how the game was really doing. I would look at the map, and see land not selling, and belonging largely to a few major land dealers, except for a lot of small holders — but it was obvious that there just wasn’t any 40,000 or even 25,000 land owners. Finally, at that time the Lindens gave out the numbers: of the 40,000, 9,000 were premiums; of these, 6,000 were landowners. Shocking! Here’s a game (I’m going to keep calling it a game, sorry) that’s about land-owning and selling, the way it it always touted in the media, here’s a game where the owners let you essentially lease the server and do what you want on it, and only 22 percent of those signing up even get the premium with its 500 stipend, and of these, only 15 percent buy land.

    Turns out many people used to buy the premiums just to get the 2000 per month, without the complexities of GOM (as they saw it) — so they bought the $9.95 subscription for the cash. Why so few buying land? Well, I would submit that one major reason is that there is a constant drum-beat of hatred on the forums against landowners, making people fearful and suspicious to some extent, and information cards inside the Live Help and Welcome system that sound the cry over and over again YOU DON’T NEED LAND TO HAVE FUN. Fortunately, more and more people ignore this!

    Rather than forthrightly selling lots and lots of $9.95 subscriptions like they did in TSO (the trials were just trials, tapping out after awhile), with nearly an automatic to the land-claim part (it would be unimaginable in TSO not to get land eventually because you can’t do much without it), for some reason the Lindens, and their favoured core, have always viewd land-owning as something if not bourgeous, then cheap and tawdry, populated with sleazy real-estate agents in houndstooth suits with shiny lapels, polyster shirts, and names like “Buzz”. They should have right at the Orientation Island a sign that says “Click here to homestead” and simple instructions on how to dig a 512. Instead, they hide this in the never-visited infohubs (and that’s progress — they never used to put out instructions about how to get land because it was so hated and feared especially by some top mentors who on principle, it seems, never left their basic accounts).

    All that’s changing. It’s now very common for people to come roaring into the game with $20,000 LL they’ve purchased forthrightly, and to head right for a 4096 or 8192 somewhere on the very first day, either off a bulk-auction sim or out in the newest mainland sims. Often, they’ll come in and spend that first week renting and looking around, shopping and saving the stipend and then buy. Just look at the map! WAY more land-owners now. The bulkauction sims sold out in a heartbeat, not surprisingly to Anshe, Cyberlands, Marmela. The bigger story is that a mere 30 days later or so, they’re almost all sold out to other people, just ordinary people you’ve never heard of buying lots of land.

    Look on auctions — lots of new names, not just baby barons, but people who buy whole sims because either they’ve got Daddy’s trust fund or they actuallly matter-of-factly look at this game like it’s a $1000 expenditure for a trip to a tropical paradise that they might have spent in RL at Club Med for a week in Cancun — but that is something they can pay once and have for the rest of the year for only $195 a month, the price of a dinner out for two in a really nice restaurant once a month.

    Still…these numbers are just not big enough. Let’s suppose we’re still at 22 percent, allowing for churn (for some of those 9,000 to have left — many did). That’s 22,200 (15 percent of 148,000) who might own land — and that figure seems high — big barons still own a lot of it and keep it any given month because people buy and sell out in a few weeks, afraid of tier, pushed away by griefing, or they just leave the game.

    Still, the reason the prefab and furniture sales are so astoundingly good, given what they are, is the presence of lots of new, wealthier people. I often wish the Lindens would put out figures like in RL, like “starter home purchases”; “construction bids”; “first mortgages” “durable goods sales” or whatever so you could measure the economy’s progress better.

    To be sure, lots and lots of basics are renting — and, the other side of it, lots of premiums are renting too. Premiums often use up what tier they’re willing to pay top dollar for on a house, then rent a store or mall space. Or, more often, they throw all their tier into a store or club that they place their content in or manage, and then rent their space to live in or party in.

    When I see 5500 logged in — way more than the old figure of 3500-4000 — I look at the green dots. The green dots are on the private islands of Ansheland; on the newest part of the continent; and on the bulkauction sims. This is where the green dots are in piles, like in clubs or events. Then as you zoom around the map, you see the slightly older sims like the “older new continent” and the southern lake sims where there are paired green dots or 3 dots sprinkled around evenly where the sims are stabilized. Then at the old core, on many sims it’s like a neutron bomb went off — no green dots.

  6. TrannyPet Barmy

    Feb 27th, 2006

    “which would in turn promote more businesses to use the Grid, and which would ultimately only help the company” – If the *real* figures are that way favourable of course.

    Maybe the reason they are so obsfucated and vague is to cover up the reality that business in SL isn’t that great at all ?

    Personally i think the figure you want is active accounts, the number of accounts that are 30 days or older, and have logged in more than 3 times a week over the last 30 days.

    If LindenLab were prepared to do the work to give an even more accurate rating of it’s performance, usage wise, they should also give a figure taking into consideration alts, the same as the last, but, grouping it by IP(this is a tricky one since not every one is using static ips, although, it would be a fair assumption that if some one logged in on one account, then logged in another account an hour later, with the same ip, the chances are the same person is driving, and therefore the account should be deemed an alt.) With a little bit of coding though, it would be fairly easy to start working out which accounts were alts, regardless of weather an alternative credit card, identity was used to sign it up. For that matter, give that figure to, the same again, but, grouped by real identity/CC no. That would tell you the number of regular users, as opposed to regular accounts. That figure would give a by far more accurrate inidication of how SecondLife is doing userbase wise.

    Of course, i’m sure LindenLab will refrain from ever giving you anything of this resolution for a long time yet ;)

    TrannyPet Barmy
    The REAL ONE

  7. Brace

    Feb 27th, 2006

    I’m with MJ on this whole issue.

    5,000 tops of really active members.

    The rest is the “dead wood”, alts and people who’ve left the game.

    I used to be one of those happy landowners. However, I recently tiered down to my free 512m.

    But it sounds like from Prok there’s plenty of folks coming in to pick up my slack ;)

  8. How many active SL accounts are there?

    The a href=””Second Life Herald ponders/a how many of the reported 150,000+ Second Life accounts (see homepage) are truly active accounts:

Leave a Reply