- Linden Lab, the parent company of Second Life, has hired its first CMO.
- The company is trying to steal the limelight from other metaverse platforms like Meta and Roblox.
- But Second Life’s growth stalled in 2013 and it is planning a marketing campaign to attract new users.
Linden Labs’ Second Life was one of the first metaverses when it launched in 2003.
Nearly 20 years later, the concept of a virtual world is back in the zeitgeist, and Linden Labs has hired Steven Feuling as its first CMO to take back the limelight from competitors like Roblox and Facebook parent company Meta.
Meta’s pivot into the metaverse last November created an explosion of interest in the nascent space, said Feuling, who joined Linden Labs a month later.
“If there is going to be any growth here, we want to be a part of that growth, we deserve to be a part of that growth,” Feuling said. “We are the pioneers in this space.”
Unlike Roblox, which is a gaming platform, Second Life wants to be a place where people can make social connections and make a living selling digital products. And unlike Facebook’s Meta practices, Second Life will not leverage user data to bombard people with ads.
“We will never be Facebook or Meta, in terms of that,” Feuling said.
But what Meta and Roblox have that Second Life doesn’t have is user volume. While Second Life grew to hundreds of thousands of users in its early years, it has plateaued since reaching a million users in 2013. That’s far from Roblox’s 50 million daily users, and even further from Meta. , which has billions of users. you can draw in your metaverse.
Feuling is planning a marketing campaign, but said the goal isn’t to bring Second Life to billions of users.
Second Life has different types of users, from casual users who want to make friends to those who are not happy in real life and prefer a virtual existence. Feuling is using that information to target the people who will be the happiest Second Life users.
And it also targets content creators who develop and sell virtual goods in Second Life. Developers are an important part of bringing users to a platform and building an economy. For example, Roblox executives often proclaim the importance of their growing developer community during earnings calls.
Continuing to build its community is also important to Second Life, which claims that virtual goods transactions totaled $650 million in 2021, with content creators pocketing more than $80 million of that.
Feuling is introducing Linden Labs’ Tilia virtual payment system to game developers and content creators in the hope that more of them will use it.
Feuling is also using his experience as an advertising executive at Dentsu, Kmart and Bloomberg to help brands understand how they can create virtual events in Second Life and sell branded digital products, like sneakers that can be worn by avatars. Second Life plans to avoid ad units such as display ads.
“We don’t think it’s additive to have a billboard for a soda outside your virtual home,” Feuling said.
Feuling is in the midst of negotiations with three advertisers and “one of the largest ad agencies” in the world, which he declined to name.