Second Life: Name Changes, Marketplace fees and events updates

With typical timing, I’m taking time off from the blog to enjoy an evening at the theatre (seeing Jonathan Pie, aka comedian Tom Walker, in case you’re interested!), when Linden Lab blogs about Name Changes, the updates to events I’ve mentioned in my Web User Group updates, and on Marketplace updates!

You can read the official post – The Return of Last Names and Changes to Marketplace, Events & Premiumin full on the Lab’s SL blog. However, here are the key points:

Name Changes

  • Linden Lab is working to make Name Changes “available by the end of January”.
  • As per my previous reporting on the subject, Name Changes will be an Premium (and Premium Plus – see below) benefit.
  • Changes will incur a fee (yet to be disclosed) which will be levied as a single transaction for “one or both of your first and last Names.”
  • Last names will be be list-selectable, and users can help LL curate the list.
  • Between December 16th, 2019 and January 6th, 2020, the Lab will hold a Last Name competition for SL users (Basic and Premium) to suggest suitable last names to add to the first list of names to be made available. Five will be selected, and those submitting them will be able to change their names completely free of charge. Details to follow in a later Lab blog post.

Note that in addition the to official blog post above, Linden Lab have also indicated that:

  • Those signing-up to Second Life will not be required to pick a last name, but will continue to have “resident” appended to their name until such time as the opt to go Premium or after they have completed the sign-up process, if they opt to go directly to Premium when setting up their account.
  • The fee applied to Name Changes will likely be in US dollars, and will be at a lower rate for Premium Plus (once available) than for Premium.

For further information on these latter points, please refer to:

Premium Plus

  • Again, as I’ve previously reported, there will be a new Premium membership subscription level, sitting above Premium.
  • This new subscription level is to be called “Premium Plus” (previously referred to by the Lab as “Elite”).

Again in addition to the official blog post:

  • Premium Plus will be made available on a monthly or annual subscription basis.
  • It will be made available some time after Name Changes have been made available.
  • Likely benefits will comprise a mix of “enhanced” Premium benefits and benefits exclusive to Premium Plus.

For further information on these latter three points, please refer to:

Events Updates

  • Events are being overhauled to present more functionality, such as the ability to set an alert on an event you want to attend, to follow your favourite events hosts, share event calendars, and more.
  • This work will include a new look for events (see the concept art below, courtesy of Linden Lab).
  • The updates will be accompanied by the introduction of event listing fees, at the rate of L$50 er event for Basic members, and L$10 per event for Premium members, who will – as a follow-up update to these initially changes – be able to schedule recurring events.
Concept design for the new Second Life events pages. Note the final version, when deployed, may differ to this. Credit: Linden Lab

For further information on this, please refer to:

Marketplace Fee Changes and Updates

As from Monday, December 2nd, 2019:

  • The Marketplace sales commission will increase to 10% of the item price.
    • This marks the first fee increase on the Marketplace in a decade.
    • It is seen as a means of off-setting the cost of on-going improvements and enhancements to the MP.
  • Marketplace Product Listing Enhancement fees will be reduced by 10%.

The blog post also points out further Marketplace enhancement that are close to being ready to be deployed, or are in development, including:

  • The ability to filter limited quantity and demo items (close to being ready for deployment).
  • Improved navigating shopping and order history for shoppers.
  • A means to prevent limited-quantity item redelivery for the Merchants.

Longer-term, the Lab is working on Mobile-friendly layouts for the Marketplace and planning both a complete facelift for the Marketplace and on a vendor system “that better connects in-world sales and tracking with Marketplace transactions”.

I’ll continue to report on all of the above as news surfaces on them via in-world meetings and / or official blog and forum posts.

7 thoughts on “Second Life: Name Changes, Marketplace fees and events updates

  1. I wonder how many SL Content Creators there are out there that are struggling and will find this decision on Linden Lab’s part to be the straw that broke the provider’s back? My thought is… if I want it I better get it now because in six months it might be gone forever. Way to grow a base of support LL!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Increasing fees while SL seems to be slowing down doesn’t seem to be a good idea to me. The Lab needs to do more to add value and get some players back.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Exactly Susan. You are echoing the words I said to Viale Linden back in 2012 when he, as Vice President of Marketing and Member Retention, was pushing us hard to make the Blake Sea into a Premium Destination location to add new Premium members and discourage usage by non-premium residents. We told him that was not what the Blake Sea was created for when Jack Linden came to us. We (the United Sailing Sims) told him (Viale) that if he did not want to lose the base of customers he already had he would need to put more emphasis on the second half of his job title: member retention. Thanks for making that point again. LL STILL needs to learn that lesson.,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Its a pity that the official SL blog has comments turned off. Else you would see what merchants really think of the doubling of MP commission. This comes on the heels of an increase in the cost of converting L$ to US$ and transferring it out to your bank. LL say: “This fee change helps offset our costs as we invest heavily in new Marketplace features and improvements”. I’m not that old, but in the years I have been here, I’ve not seen many improvements to the MP. What are the improvements thy talk of? And what exactly are the costs of these improvement? And why do the costs requite a doubling of the commission? It reeks of greed to me. Hey, if LL added a free Google search to the MP, it would be a massive improvement, but alas no, you search for one thing, and you are left with miss-categorized items, piles of gatcha, and other unwanted and irrelevant items.

    If I buy 2500L$, it cost me $9.73, and with transaction fee of US1.49 the final cost is US$11.22

    If I sell an item on the MP for L$2500, I now get L$2250 for it. (10% LL commission as of Dec 2nd 2019)

    When I sell the L$2250, I get US$8.13. (3.5% transaction fee to LL)

    When I withdraw the balance to my bank, I get US$7.72 (5% Transaction fee to LL)

    So if a SL member buys L$2500 and the merchant cashes it in, we are seeing a transformation of US$11.22 to US$7.72, and LL are effectively taking 31.2% for themselves.

    LL say in this blog post: ”This new rate remains significantly lower than most digital content commissions across the industry. Apple and Google charge a 30% commission on sales in their app stores, as do many other popular virtual worlds, VR and gaming platforms, such as Oculus and Sinespace.”

    They refer just to the 10% MP commission, but we see that LL is actually creaming off over 30% if you follow the money from start to finish.


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