Monday, November 26, 2007

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Second Life User Activity Triples in Under a Year

58k Most Sundays around 2pm PST, Second Life reaches its highest peak user concurrency for the week.*  Yesterday that peak reached just shy of 58K (see screencap), evidently a new record. Impressive numbers, when you consider that maximum concurrency was only 20,000 in December '06, and only 7000, in June '06. 

Of course, it's somewhat less impressive, relative to insider expectations.

Last January, after all, I predicted maximum concurrency would reach 100,000 by the end of 2007, and that was a more conservative guess to what Cory Linden had prophesied that same month: he expected a full 150,000 to be in-world at the same time.  Judging by Tateru Nino's eagle eye, as here and here, max concurrency grows by about a thousand, every one-three weeks.  So assuming we stay at that clip, peak activity will cross 60K in the next few weeks, and reach some 65-70,000 by year's close.  Considerably less than what I predicted, and significantly less than Cory's prognostication.

The reasons for this shortfall are fairly obvious: consistent server/viewer crashes (nearly 25% per session, a figure that hasn't improved throughout the year), a continued failure to substantially simplify the UI, or make the first time user experience more immediately appealing.  But considering the arc of 12 months, we are still looking at very strong (if not spectacular) growth.

* No doubt because Sunday afternoon on the Pacific coast is the most optimal day and time for in-world activity among North Americans, Brazilians, and Europeans who comprise much of the world's population.


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Just so happens I've been asking around regarding whether or not LL is still regulating/capping concurrency. I don't recall them saying they'd *stopped* after they said they were instituting a policy of kicking unverifieds to allow premium account owners access.

So, is LL still capping, but moving the max concurrency in controlled fashion? And if they stopped, when did they announce it?

Tateru Nino

As far as I know, they never actually exercised the cap. They did say, after all, that they would announce any time that they were doing so.


I thought they'd effectively announced it and just never stopped. Would be good to get an official word on this.

Stacey Sugar

Its probable that the majority of those concurrent users are bots either using that L$2k per avatar in-world bot system or using a text based SL client like Sleek. They don't contribute anything to the SL experience so LL needs to think of a way to stop them.

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