Linden Lab, the developer of the virtual social platform Second Life has announced that despite a shrinking market, the virtual world continues to grow. In 2009, user-to-user transactions were up 65% compared to the year before, to a total of $567 million. These types of transactions between players, or ‘residents’ as they are known within the world of Second Life, reached an all time high of $67 million during March 2010. The community currently has over 826,000 active users.
Over the past few years, many similar social platforms and virtual worlds have collapsed under competition from social networks such as Facebook, but also from applications for smartphones. Linden Labs is trying to ensure future success of Second Life by integrating the functionality of the world with other networks or social services available on the internet.
Though the media hype surrounding the platform has diminished over the years and many organizations have stepped off the bandwagon, Mark Kingdon, CEO of Linden Labs, states that though “a fair amount of the press left, the customers stayed.”