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signupsperday400-21april2010 It’s definitely noticeable that Second Life signups have taken a significant jump from a more usual 10-11 thousand new signups per day to quite a bit more – topping out near 17 thousand per day.

That sudden surge seems to be fading. What isn’t clear is quite why it happened or whether it represents anything positive.

The first thing don’t know about this is why it happened. I suppose that the recent changes to the Second Life signup process must be a contributing factor, as the numbers represent signups completed, not users who get as far as signing in to Second Life.

Why the sudden jump, then? Is it that – even with 10,000 or so new signups per day – that there are almost that many again who would start, but not complete the registration process?

After all, there’s nothing new that might be attracting people or encouraging them to try Second Life out. In that case, I imagine that it must be correct, absent any other more plausible explanation. About half of would-be new-users normally don’t complete the registration process, and the new (somewhat glitzy) changes to that are really helping users get through the already minimalist registration system.


Are those users actually being retained?

I don’t think so, no. In fact, my gut instinct is that retention of new users has declined through approximately the same period.

Now, let me be clear about this. I’ve got two data-sources to work with: signups and concurrency. A quick correlation between the two suggests that the retention of new users declined in percentage terms during this surge of signups, however, the result is not statistically significant. That means that user-retention may actually have remained the same, or even increased – however the data available is not sufficient to make that declaration.

So, all I’ve got here is a feeling, with no data to justify that. Guesswork with numbers.

I’ve asked the Lab for some more data in the hope that I can get a better picture for what is happening – and if I get something, I’ll be sure and write it up. The picture itself might become clearer without additional data from the Lab, but I don’t expect statistically significant results until sometime in May.

So, signups way up. User-retention, maybe down, but too soon to tell.

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