Premium Plus gains Speedlight benefits & some thoughts

via Linden Lab

On Tuesday, October 4th, Linden Lab announced that Premium Plus members can now leverage the Speedlight client as a part of their Plus benefits.

For those un familiar with Speedlight, it is a client specifically designed for use within browsers and on suitable Android and iOS devices, one I have covered in these pages – although admittedly, not the more recent updates.

Since its inception, SpeedLight has steadily increased the capabilities it offers such that it now includes (but is not limited to) chat, IM, Group chat, inventory management, friends list functions, search options, the ability to switch between devices (on SpeedLight) without having to re-log – and basic 3D world view rendering with avatar movement capabilities. A full list of available features and capabilities is available here.

The core product is offered free-of-charge, albeit it with some limitations (log-in time is limited & requires re-logging every 6 hours). However, there is also a dedicated subscription option called Gold (and quite distinct from the Lab’s Premium Plus), which in turn can be tiered through associated Patreon options to offer additional benefits,

The benefits offered to Premium Plus subscribers have been placed between the existing Free and Gold options offered directly by the SpeedLight team, and are summarised within the Lab’s announcement as:

  • Unlimited online time at SpeedLight.
  • Access to Speedlight’s Advanced 3D World view [the cutting-edge element of Speedlight’s 3D rendering capabilities, offering options and abilities first, some of which may (or may not) eventually filter down to Free accounts].
  • Prioritised support (tickets and live chat).
SpeedLight is now available to Second Life Premium Plus subscribers with special options. Image via Speedlight

Given the frequent calls for the Lab to supply a mobile option for accessing Second Life – particularly since the stagnation of Android-based Lumiya -, and with its multi-platform reach, list of capabilities and a basic world rendering capability, Speedlight does have a lot to offer.

However, I would be remiss if I did not mention the graphics used in the Lab’s announcement. Placing a full-feature in-world image of Second Life on both a laptop and mobile device screen might lead to misguided expectations among some (e.g. users relatively new to SL) that SpeedLight offers the same graphics fidelity as an actual viewer; something the SpeedLight team would be the first to acknowledge is not the case. So perhaps a footnote stating the images are not from SpeedLight might be in order to avoid this and accusations of misrepresentation?

That aside, this is an interesting turn in Premium Plus subscription benefits. Not so much the SpeedLight offer itself, but rather if the move might signal a start of other “partnership benefits” for Plus subscribers – such as with creators / businesses from within SL own ecosystem, or with some of the Lab’s content partners. If this is the case, it’ll be interesting as to what might come next.

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