On Thursday, November 2nd, the Lab issues two blog posts which are of import to Second Life users.
The first blog post provides news and information on further updates to credit processing and LindeX fees, together with an overview of upcoming improvements and features coming to Second Life over the next several weeks / months.
Some of the improvements I’ve already blogged about – notably Animesh, which is currently in public beta testing on Aditi (the beta grid) and the upcoming Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP) – , together with a reminder about the grid-wide game, Tyrah & the Curse of the Magical Glytches. In addition, the post offers updates on some of the longer-term projects, such as the work to move Second Life services (including, eventually and if all goes according to the Lab’s plans, the grid simulators) to the cloud, which we learn is now called Project Brave New World.
However, it is the new LindeX / credit processing fee changes which are the headline news, and are unlikely to be welcome. Each is being increased, with the new LindeX transaction fee coming to within a hair’s breadth of US $1.00 per transaction with immediate effect.
To quote from the blog post:
Underlying SL’s user-to-user economy and the ability to buy and sell L$’s for real currency is a significant amount of ongoing work to ensure that everything remains compliant with applicable laws and regulations, while also preventing fraud and money laundering. This work comes at a cost, and we are adjusting related fees in order to help cover those costs and enable us to continue to invest in Second Life’s future. The changes are as follows:
- Effective today, the fee for buying L$ on the LindeX will be $0.99 per transaction (previously it had been $0.60 per transaction). These changes impact only buys on the LindeX, and the fees associated with buying L$’s during SL Marketplace transactions remain unchanged.
- On January 3, 2018, the fee for processing credit transactions (i.e. paying real money into a PayPal or Skrill account) will be 2.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum, and no maximum. This fee is currently 1.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum and a $25 (USD) maximum.
Also in this blog post, mention is made of an issue which has been felt by many content creators who sell No Copy items (generally via gacha machines), and which has been the subject of recent discussions at Simulator User Group meetings: fraudulent sales of such items. This is an issue to Lab has been attempting to address, and while it may not be completely eliminated (the Lab is still working on further improvements), the blog post offers a note on the work carried out thus far:
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for successful platforms to attract cheaters and bad actors. Some of these villains attempt to hurt Residents’ businesses by bypassing creator protections in SL, and we’re continually developing new tools and techniques to combat this. Recently, we closed an exploit that fraudulent gacha re-sellers had used. Our governance team can now catch them when they attempt the cheating method that we have already fixed. Many bad actors have already been banned from SL, and additional changes will soon make our team even more effective.
Finally, and alongside the promise of a new, shopping-oriented, perk for Premium subscribers, there is a reminder that if you wish to continue receiving IMs as e-mails while off-line, to make sure you have verified your e-mail address. This will become even more important in the future, if you wish to continue receiving communications from the Lab via e-mail.
The second blog post introduces the new Web User Group meetings, which will be launching on Friday, November 10th, 2017, and which will generally take place every two weeks, starting at 14:30 SLT.
The aim of these meetings is to discuss issues relating to all of the Lab’s Second Life web properties, including the Marketplace, Profiles, Place Pages, and Search. The meetings will be chaired by Grumpity and Alexa Linden at Alexa’s barn.
You can find out more about the majority of the Lab’s in-world user group meetings on the User Group wiki page.