Names Changes, launched in April 2020, as most user know, is the ability for Premium users to select a first name / last name combination that’s to their liking and use it as their avatar / account name.
Under the system, first names are free-form, whilst last names are selected from a list – as used to be the case when first name / last name combinations were a basic part of the Second life sign-up process through until mid-2010.
Since the introduction of this Premium option (which you can read about in Second Life: the return of last names, and some notes) users have been asking when and how frequently the list of last name will be updated.
Linden Lab have remained somewhat vague on this latter point, although they have noted that names are liable to swapped out on the basis of how popular / unpopular they prove to be. That is, if a name is so popular it reaches a certain level of use or fails to reach a certain level of use within a given time period defined by the Lab, they would be “retired”.
On Tuesday, June 16th, the Lab announced that some of the last names made available in the first batch made available at the time the capability was launched have been determined to fall with one or other of these two limits, and so will be “retired” from use as from Thursday, June 25th, 2020.
The names to be retired are:
Alpaca – Covfefe – Damballar – Float – Jazzhands – Mainsail – Nimble – Piggins – Plumday – Yeetly
Anyway wishing to make use of these names should now do so before the end of Wednesday, June 24th. Those who have already opted to use any of these names will obviously retain them. I assume replacement names will be made available / announced either at the time these names are retired, or shortly thereafter.
You can read the official announcement in Last Call for These Last Names – Get ‘Em While You Can!
In terms of how popular the capability has been, the official blog post notes only that the response thus far has been “mostly positive”, although feedback at various meetings has suggested the response has been more poplar than the blog may suggest.