Second Life was just a fad for businesses

Posted on Sunday, Jul 15 2007 @ 21:11 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Some months ago you heard a lot about companies who rushed to build up a presence in the virtual world of Second Life but it looks like this was nothing more than a fad. Tech Crunch reports many corporations are already leaving Second Life because there's no compelling reason to stay. It's just way too expensive:
The reasons for the failures are open to debate; from firms not engaging Second Life citizens, through to simply a lack of actual people using Second Life (the LA Times says it peaks at 40,000 users at any one given time).

Wagner James Au at GigaOm has a set of figures worth looking at. In defending Second Life, Au notes that the visitor rate to corporate installations on Second Life is 0.8-2% vs a CTR rate on standard web advertisements on 0.5-1%. Great, but does a higher CTR really matter? The 5 most popular corporate destinations on Second Life have between 1200 to 10,000 visitors per week. An island on Second Life (a popular choice for corporations) costs $1,675 upfront then $295/ month, and that doesn’t include the cost to actually create structures on the island from one of the various Second Life design firms (cost: approx $5-10,000). So lets do the figures: the most popular corporate destination has 10,000 visitors per week; at $295/ mth in maintenance fees that’s a CPM rate of approx $7.40. The bottom destination of the top 5 has a CPM rate of approx $61. If we apportion the upfront costs of design (say $5,000 although it’s probably higher) and setup ($1675) over 12 months the CPM rates become $21.20 (top) and approx $180 (bottom of the top 5). The CTR rate is irrelevant: the CPM cost for businesses on Second Life is insane: simply even for the very best, the figures don’t add up.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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