Just about everybody has heard of Second Life, and how many retailers have purchased a virtual store and even hawked virtual goods with a real-world likeness. But a recent report is showing, not surprisingly, that the hype inspired but such stories as mostly that, hype.
In fact it seems that Second Life has become less than attractive to many advertisers by comparison to newer web-communities:
“According to the recently published Yankee Group Note, Wither Second Life?, the growth rate of Second Life users has slowed since its peak in October 2006, while user engagement (as measured by average time spent per user) has leveled off at just 12 minutes per month. This is in stark contrast to other highly publicized sites such as MySpace and Facebook, which are seeing steady increases in both the number of users and the intensity of user engagement. Facebook’s average time spent per user, for example, increased 24% over 6 months to 186 minutes per month, equating to 15-times more engagement per user than Second Life. The Note considers a number of factors contributing to this stagnation, but concludes that Second Life’s PC-centric approach in an increasingly mobile world is to blame.”
12 minutes per month? Even assuming that you could put advertising in front of somebody for that entire time, many shops neighboring busy restaurants get more exposure from prospective customers than that!