Shocking news about the future of SL that will rock all users to their core.
I was recently covertly approached, under unusual circumstances, by a renegade Linden who, for reasons that will become obvious, wished to remain completely anonymous, so I shall only refer to them as ‘β‘ in this article. The information they passed on to me has remained, until now, a closely guarded secret, known only to the upper echelons of The Lab, but which my contact felt needed to be disclosed to the wider SL community while there is still time. In a frank and revealing interview, which took place at a location I’m not permitted to disclose, β set out the disturbing plans that are being formulated for our favourite virtual world.
“You don’t know what it’s like there any more”, they whispered, referring to Lab HQ in Battery Street – “I used to leap out of bed with a smile on my face, have a sunshine breakfast after my morning jog along the Boardwalk, then head off to work to do something worthwhile. Now, it’s all changed…”
“I’ve been working on my own little project, something I thought the residents would love – months I’ve spent on it – then suddenly they say to me, ‘That’s shelved, forget it!’ It’s been like that ever since
Evoluti… erm, I mean Project Sansar came along.”
However, what β told me next sent a chill through my veins.
“Of course, you don’t know the worst of it… They’ve sold out!”
I asked β to explain what they meant, something they were incredibly reluctant to do, but eventually the whole sordid story came out. It seems that a controversial and underhand deal, worth millions, has taken place and SL – brace yourselves – has been sold to Facebook!
Facebook, whose recent unsuccessful foray into the virtual worlds market through their own platform, Cloud Party, seemed to have been an ill-fated flash in the pan, has decided why bother creating your own platform from scratch when there’s a perfectly good one already out there, which comes complete with its own, decently sized, user base.
I was aghast, but as my contact succinctly put it: “Why pour cash needlessly into a product that everyone thinks has no future, when someone is willing to pay a massive price just to take it off your hands?”
I wanted to know more about FB’s plans for SL – the details were sketchy but undeniably worrying. The plan, my source told me is to modify SL, creating a dynamically interactive virtual option for the more traditional FB timeline and wall – tentatively named FB3D – the idea being that you can connect with your Facebook friends in a richer and more natural environment than the simple posting of status updates and photos can offer. I pumped β for more information, and things began to make far more sense: All those nonsensical games and quizzes that FB peddles in 3D form and with HUDs to link participants; avatars that match the user’s mood; the linking together of FB and SL groups and friends’ lists; and all interconnected with real world FB profiles, of course. Later down the line, there’s talk of monetisation through linden dollars, although they won’t be called that after the takeover, of course! Throw all this together in the wonderfully secure and safe environment that everybody’s favourite social network guarantees </sarcasm> and you have what seems to me, a recipe for utter disaster.
“Why do you think I took the risk of spilling the beans?”, asked my tame renegade Linden; “It’s to give you all the chance to get out while you can, because believe me, when that lot take over, anyone with a Facebook account is instantly going to have their SL details as headline news on their profile page… Can you imagine what that will mean?”
We sat, silent for a while, pondering the gravity of what had been revealed, as the realisation dawned that this truly was the beginning of a very nasty and sticky end.
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes…again
The Doors – The End