After I Tweeted that Second Life was still in Nielsen's Top 10, SL co-founder Philip Rosedale responded with a Tweet of his own: "SL recently passed 2+ Billion hours of use!" Maybe I missed if this milestone was mentioned before, but in any case, it's worth noting here. SL surpassed 1 billion user hours in September 2009, which took six years from its Summer 2003 launch to reach, so it took only 3 years to add one billion more.
From a certain perspective, "2 billion" is such a large number it sort of seems meaningless, so here's some elementary math to put it in perspective:
- 2 billion total user hours translate to 228,310 total years of Second Life usage.
- About 20 million people have tried Second Life so far. So 2 billion user hours averages out to 100 hours per user -- i.e. 5 days in Second Life.
- If you laid those 2 billion hours end to end, they would stretch so far into the cosmos that the ghost of Carl Sagan would appear in front of you and say, "Motherfucker that analogy makes no goddamn sense." And he would be right.
So, 2 billion hours. Monthly active users, to be sure, remain fixed below a million uniques, and probably stand at around 400,000 to 600,000 regular recurring users. But as the hours suggest, those actives are active indeed.