Linden Lab Upgrades Second Life User Experience

March 31, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO, March 31 /PRNewswire/ — Linden Lab® today announced several upgrades to its flagship product, Second Life®, including the release of a new, more intuitive user-interface; new capabilities for bringing Web content into its rich, interactive environment; and new orientation experiences to ease and expedite the path to getting started in Second Life. These enhancements represent a major milestone in delivering on Linden Lab’s vision of making the wealth of content and experiences available in Second Life more accessible to a broader range of users already engaged in 2D social experiences on the Web.

Second Life is a 3D online social world in which the users, or Residents, create the experiences and content. Each month, Residents spend an average of 40 hours each in Second Life, where they extend and enhance their daily lives with avatars. Residents meet and socialize with friends from around the globe using text and voice chat, create virtual goods, launch businesses, collaborate, learn, and more. Each day, Residents create more than 250,000 virtual goods and participate in a virtual economy that surpassed half a billion U.S. dollars in user-to-user transactions in 2009.

“Today’s upgrades make the ‘first hour’ in Second Life easier and more engaging,” said Tom Hale, Linden Lab’s Chief Product Officer. “Over the past year, we have delivered stability and scalability to the platform and completed a full redesign of SecondLife.com. Today, we’re building on those achievements and making it easier for people to get started exploring and enjoying the wealth of content and experiences in Second Life, positioning the platform for more widespread consumer adoption.”

The upgrades to Second Life announced today include:

  • New User-Interface: The software used to access Second Life has been substantially overhauled to give it a familiar feel. Known as Viewer 2, the new software uses design elements that Web users are already familiar with – such as browser navigation bars and chat client friend lists – to make navigating and socializing in the virtual world easy and intuitive.
  • Shared Media: Residents can now interact with any Web-based content (including Adobe® Flash®) within the shared 3D environment of Second Life. For example, Residents can create and enjoy entertainment experiences, such as watching streaming TV shows or movies or playing online games with friends, using standard web technologies and content. Shared Media enables Residents to collaborate on work-related documents, share presentations, and use the Web together in Second Life.
  • Quick and Easy First Experiences: Two new orientation areas – Welcome Island and Discovery Island – help new users get started in Second Life so they can begin meeting people and finding interesting experiences right away. Welcome Island teaches new users basic Second Life skills, while Discovery Island helps Residents locate the experiences and communities in Second Life that match their interests.
  • New Starter Avatars: Avatars are representations of Residents’ identities in Second Life. New Residents begin their experiences in the virtual world by selecting starter avatars, which they can later customize or replace once they’re comfortable inworld. Now, Residents can choose from a new line of starter avatars that reflects the diverse range of cultures and interests of Second Life users around the world.

“Today’s upgrades represent major steps toward making Second Life a more readily accessible online reality for users worldwide,” said Mark Kingdon, CEO of Linden Lab. “Over the next year, we will continue to break down the walls that have traditionally separated Second Life from the rest of the social Web – you can see the start of this with Shared Media. We’ll be continuing to bring more of the Web into Second Life, and more of Second Life out to the social Web. In doing so, we will make it increasingly possible for 3D social experiences to become a part of many more people’s daily online lives, just as 2D social networks are for millions today.”

About Second Life and Linden Lab

Developed and launched by Linden Lab in 2003, Second Life is the world’s leading 3D virtual world environment. It enables its Residents to create content, interact with others, launch businesses, collaborate, educate, and more. Since its inception, Second Life Residents have logged more than one billion user hours and generated more than $1 billion in user-to-user transactions. With a broad user base that includes everyone from consumers and educators to medical researchers and large enterprises, Second Life has become one of the largest repositories of user-generated content and the largest user-generated virtual goods economy in the world.

Linden Lab, founded in 1999 by Chairman of the Board Philip Rosedale and headquartered in San Francisco, develops revolutionary technologies that change the way people communicate, interact, transact, learn and create. Privately held, Linden Lab is led by CEO Mark Kingdon, and has more than 350 employees spread across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit www.secondlife.com.

SOURCE Linden Lab

Source: newswire

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