Linden Lab has a new job opening that's been up on the website for at least the last several weeks:
Senior Product Manager at Linden Lab
We’re looking for a Senior Product Manager (remote) to elevate multiple facets of our Second Life product. This person would also enable growth and scale by shipping features that improve our customer experience…
As a Senior Product Manager, you’ll utilize in-depth product knowledge to successfully drive key projects on Second Life. You’ll work alongside a supportive team of people across engineering, design, QA, and other cross-functional teams to build products and new experiences and play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the original metaverse. And finally, the pleasure of seeing your solutions ship, scale, and make a measurable impact on millions of customers' lives across the globe.
Emphasis mine! I've been hoping that the recently unveiled mobile version of Second Life would not simply be an app that targeted existing users, but instead aim to grow the audience well beyond the core established user base of 500,000-600,000. This new job listing seems like a solid indicator that Linden Lab is indeed attempting to grow the Second Life community, building off the momentum of the mobile app after that's launched (late this year/early next).
I can't emphasize how important a mobile app is, even for long-running metaverse platforms like Second Life:
Like I wrote in 2020, IMVU floundered for years as an also-ran competitor to Second Life; after it rolled out a mobile version, here's what happened:
IMVU has become massive in just about every sense:
It has 7 million monthly active users.
And 1.2 million daily active users.
And a peak daily concurrency of 140,000 users.
And peak average daily concurrency of 120,000 users.
The secret to IMVU's massive growth is mobile. Launched to iOS and Android in 2014, IMVU's userbase is now 80% mobile, 20% desktop.
For that matter, Roblox launched a few years after Second Life (2006), but only started getting truly massive user growth after it rolled out an iOS and Android app (between 2021 and 2014).
So it's a very hopeful sign that Linden Lab is looking to grow the SL userbase to "millions" as opposed to simply serving the existing user base. If they asked me (though they haven't), the best candidate for this new role has little or no experience with the Second Life experience as it exists as a PC app, and much more background for creating compelling mobile experiences.
For instance: Rather than just create a single Second Life virtual world app, why not many which are fun standalone slices of the larger experience? There are already numerous popular mobile apps focused around avatar fashion, or customizing rooms, or building in a sandbox world with prims, and so on. The Second Life experience could be carved up into a dozen or so mini-game apps which give a whole new audience a taste of the entire experience — and attract a significant minority of them into the whole wolrd.
Here's the whole job listing. Know any veteran developers from top casual mobile game studios who might be interested?