November a solid month for OpenSim growth

The public OpenSim grids added 1,655 new regions this month, registered more than 10,000 new users, and grew active monthly users by 512. Meanwhile, Avination and AviWorlds are still down for the count, Logicamp suffered a devastating loss due to a ransomware attack, and SkyLifeGrid was folded up into Sinful Grid.

Atek Grid was the big gainer in land area this month, with 675 new regions, followed by OSgrid with 543 and Kitely with 258.

InWorldz was in the lead when it comes to attracting new users to OpenSim, with 2,185 new registrations, with Kitely close behind at 2,077. InWorldz and Kitely are both commercial grids and work hard to market themselves both within and outside the virtual worlds community. Virtual Brasil registered 1,096 new users this month — though its active user count actually dropped.

OSgrid, a non-profit registered 406 new users, followed by The Adult Grid with 381 registrations.

The total number of registered users on the active public OpenSim grids is now 499,360, still below its peak of 552,863 in June, which was just before Avination went down due to hosting issues.

Land area of OpenSim's public grids, in standard region equivalents. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Land area of OpenSim’s public grids, in standard region equivalents. (Hypergrid Business data.)

For those who are new readers, OpenSim is a free, open source virtual world platform that’s compatible with the Oculus Rift. It allows people with no technical skills to quickly and cheaply create virtual worlds, and then teleport to other virtual worlds. Those with technical skills can run OpenSim worlds on their own servers for free, while commercial hosting starts at less than $5 a region — compared to $300 a region for the same land in Second Life.

A list of hosting providers is here. Download the recommended Firestorm viewer here. And find out where to get content for your OpenSim world or region here.

Popularity

When it comes to general-purpose social grids, especially closed grids, the rule of thumb is: the busier, the better. People looking to make new friends look for grids that already have the most users. Merchants looking to sell content will go to the grids with the most potential customers. Event organizers looking for the biggest audience… you get the idea.

The big gainer this month was Eureka World, which gained 174 actives for a new total of 516 unique monthly users, just short of making this month’s top ten list. The Brazilian grid AllCity gained 164, for a new total of 981 active users. The educational grid EdMondo gained 148, for a new total of 374. Another educational grid, Islands of Enlightenment, gained 124 for a new total of 251. DreamNation, which was the biggest gainer last month, gained 108 new monthly users, for a new total of 565 actives.

Top ten most popular grids:

Meanwhile, the hypergrid as a whole is beginning to function more and more like one large grid, with an increasing number of multi-grid events, communities, and groups.

Active users this month on hypergrid-enabled grids, on InWorldz, and on other closed grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Active users this month on hypergrid-enabled grids, on InWorldz, and on other closed grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

In fact, InWorldz now accounts for 81 percent of all active users on the closed grids. The 44 other closed grids have just 1,466 active users between them, mostly due to growth on Islands of Enlightenment and on DreamNation, which is the second most popular closed grid. The Adult Grid is third, with 301 active users, followed by Islands of Enlightenment with 251 and Virtual Highway with 191. All other closed grids report 30 active users or less.

A closed grid is one that does not allow its users to travel the hypergrid. Closed grids also typically run all the regions on their grids, while open grids like OSgrid, Metropolis, ZetaWorldz and Atek allow users to connect regions run by third-party hosting companies, or that they host themselves on home computers.

In the past, most commercial grids were closed but recently more and more grids have turned on hypergrid connectivity and enabled filtering of content, so that creators who want their products to stay on that grid can have that option.

Looking at land area, the numbers are even more dramatic, since the hypergrid offers more renting options for users, as well as the ability to connect their own regions for free. Hypergrid-enabled grids currently account for 94 percent of all OpenSim land area.

Kitely grows market, suffers brief outage

In addition to showing gains in all grid statistics, the Kitely Market continue to grow this month. There were 615 new item variations listed, in more than 200 new products.

Growth in exportable and non-exportable content on the Kitely Market.

Growth in exportable and non-exportable content on the Kitely Market.

Like Amazon and other e-commerce sites, the Kitely Market does not list variations as separate products — multiple colors of the same dress, for example, are grouped together into a single product. Merchants can also offer different payment options, and different permissions — including the ability to take the purchases to different grids.

Today, Kitely offers direct delivery to 160 grids, more than half of all the currently active public OpenSim grids.

But it wasn’t all good news for the grid this month.

The grid was down for a little under three hours on Monday morning, due to problems with its Amazon hosting.

The growing number of regions on the grid caused the system that generates region performance charts to slow down, which in turn caused delays on the storage system the grid database runs on, which in turn slowed down the entire grid, Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business.

“We’ve now disabled this subsystem until we have faster storage or optimize the graph generation,” he said..

Tochner added that the grid’s data was never at risk. There are multiple backups in multiple data centers, he said, and this is the first time that Kitely has had issues with Amazon in years.

OutWorldz releases Dreamworld stats

At the end of August, OutWorldz grid owner Fred Beckhusen released a simple installer for OpenSim called Dreamworld.

Dreamworld makes it easy for individual users, schools, or small companies to install and run a mini OpenSim grid on their own computers, for free.

In the past two weeks, Dreamworld has been downloaded 369 times and is being used to run 40 new mini-grids, Beckhusen told Hypergrid Business, a quarter of which are hypergrid-enabled.

Since these are, for the most part, small private grids that may only be up part-time, they do not show up in our monthly grid stats.

CreaNovale takes time out to decorate for the holidays

The Hypergrid Safari will visit the Novale region on the CreaNovale Grid tomorrow, November 16, between 2 and 3 p.m. Pacific time. Then, starting over the weekend, the grid will close access to Novale for redecorating.

“Novale Autumn season will be terminated and winter will get installed,” said grid owner Nicole Charest, also known as Dabici Straulino in-world. “There is only a few days to come and enjoy the feel of autumn in Quebec.”

Transitions

We added five new grids to our database this month: Proyecto Alebri, Moonlight Grid, Alterworld Grid, Kingdom of Creation, and Virtual Final World.

If there’s a public grid we’re not tracking, please email us at [email protected]. There’s no centralized way to find OpenSim grids, so if you don’t tell us about it, and Google doesn’t alert us, we won’t know about it.

By “public,” we mean grids that allow hypergrid visitors, or have a website where people can register for or request accounts.

November Region Counts on the Top 40 Grids

The list below is a small subset of existing OpenSim grids. We are now tracking a total of 1,191 different publicly-accessible grids, 277 of which were active this month, and 205 of which published their statistics.

All region counts on this list are, whenever available, in terms of standard region equivalents. Active user counts include hypergrid visitors whenever possible.

Many school, company or personal grids do not publish their numbers.

The raw data for this month’s report is here. A list of all active grids is here. And here is a list of all the hypergrid-enabled grids and their hypergrid addresses, sorted by popularity. This is very useful if you are creating a hyperport.

You can see all the historical OpenSim statistics here — dating all the way back to 2009. Including polls and surveys.

Related Posts

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Carlos Loff

    The way is FORWARDSSSSSSSSSS

  • Kitely’s database storage system upgrade has been completed and we’ve resumed generating performance charts for active Kitely worlds: https://www.kitely.com/virtual-world-news/2016/11/16/database-storage-system-upgrade/

  • Dragon Heart

    Genesis MetaVerse isnt listed we have 253 region online now over 200 added this month alone after the new staff joined us weve become a lot better and stable.

    • I’m following up with you now by email to figure out why I’m not pulling in the correct stats.

      • Dragon Heart

        got it and replied ty 🙂

    • Da Hayward

      oh yeah that is very hard to believe im have never dealt with sush an uinprofessional outfit

      • Dragon Heart

        should have known you would chirp up after we refused to allow you the amount of regions you wanted on your server to the point of overloading it (620 regions per server you requested) 50+ emails a day complainin about every little thing (funny how baller nation grid are tripple the size and not emailed us once for any issue even tho they are running the same configs as yours was. Even wanting us to find stuff people bought into your grid and manage your grid. We kept the back end running smooth, it wasnt our responcability to also manage your grid in world that was down to you.

        • Da Hayward

          Actually cliff your problems lay in the fact that in my opinion you are an incompetent manager and blame everyone else for your lack of expertise we have since found grids who do know what they are doing with more regions on a server, also you never allowed server access to us so I think you once again talking through a hole in your head. We are actively advising anyone who asks not to risk dealing with you. One hopes you dont drag the good people who still have faith in you down when you start pulling your hair out again

        • Da Hayward

          oh forgot your responsibility tends to lay with what you think at a given time

        • Da Hayward

          How does 384 region equivalents become 620 Me thinks you need to gett someone who can count to..hmmmm?

          • Dragon Heart

            not getting into this with you don, your itching for a fight cause i refused to do what you wanted, and trying anything to destoy us, so have fun with that as youll just be talking to yourself as im done talking to you (hits mute)

  • Cinder Biscuits

    In b4 “why is inworldz on this list?”

    • Okay, I finally got around to crunching the numbers and posted a full article on the topic, since people keep asking:

      http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2016/11/kitely-inworldz-opensims-most-valuable-grids/

      To summarize: InWorldz does run a version of OpenSim. It is open source. It is not on the hypergrid, but neither are many other grids, including Virtual Highway and Dreamworldz. InWorldz brings in a large number of new users to OpenSim, and spends a lot on advertising to do it. And InWorldz residents, on average, visit 3.4 other grids. Since they have a lot of residents, that’s a lot of people that are now out there on the hypergrid, thanks to InWorldz.

  • Serene Jewell

    It’s only November 16. Seems odd to read about the month in the past tense. I wonder how my new pumpkin pie recipe worked out for Thanksgiving? Did I get anything awesome at the Black Friday sales?

    🙂

  • Still looking good for the future of the Hyperverse-)

    I still have not been able to understand why you place so much value on registrations, those are probably the easiest to game, but also it is even more odd when the http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/statistics/november-2016-opensim-grid-statistics/ shows both grids as having a net loss in actives.

    I guess I can see that you want to show “anything” that is a plus for OpenSim, but I think it does not do us good when people make decisions based upon numbers that do not reflect the reality of it all.

    I think the registration numbers, if anything (and taking them at face value), show that many people are not seeing what is hyped/promoted when they actually make an account but do not stay.

    But then I suppose each one should show as an active if they actually went into the grids, but they don’t. To me it shows retention is the main issue and saying otherwise puts the onus on other things than improving retention.

    • Retention is a huge issue. That’s why I rate popularity as critical, and single out the ten best grids based on how many active users they have.

      That’s the closest we have to a substantive metric in OpenSim right now, and when grids fudge it, you can be sure that their competitors are emailing me right away pointing out that the grid is empty, and that the people who are supposed to be there don’t exist.

      • I don’t want to belabour this to much, as, really, the overall thing you do in these stats pages is good for us all, regardless of the whatever picayune differences and details.

        But just to close my thoughts about this, you said,”InWorldz was in the lead when it comes to attracting new users to OpenSim, with 2,185 new registrations, with Kitely close behind at 2,077. InWorldz and Kitely are both commercial grids and work hard to market themselves both within and outside the virtual worlds community. Virtual Brasil registered 1,096 new users this month — though its active user count actually dropped.

        OSgrid, a non-profit registered 406 new users, followed by The Adult Grid with 381 registrations.

        The total number of registered users on the active public OpenSim grids is now 499,360, still below its peak of 552,863 in June, which was just before Avination went down due to hosting issues.”

        So just in this article alone, you devote three paragraphs to registration numbers. And I am only referring to “registration” numbers here, NOT popularity (i.e. regions and actives…and even more, concurrence which is not covered and I am unsure how it could be).

        And then you point out that,”The total number of registered users on the active public OpenSim grids is now 499,360″.

        Really, I would love it if such a number actually reflected usage by people in such numbers, that would be wonderful and would hopefully keep the drama queens so busy that they would have to cut back on where they post their drama. (the last part of this sentence is to add a little bit of fun lol).

        But it doesn’t. It tells people there is tons more things going on than there really is. That kind of talk can work for those picking out that single number when telling folks about opensim, but even in the short term, it backfires….we have all heard some others say how few people they see in opensim…of course that brings in other issues not the focus of my comment.

        So people come over to check this out for themselves and find it not true, then go back and tell others, and this is why you get on SLU comments often of the nature of opensim is dead.

        And it doesn’t even touch why all these registration numbers do not correlate to actual active users, as I pointed out in my first comment on this, and even makes it all sound a bit suspicious, really.

        I mean, so ~499k people register all over, so then where are they? Are they hiding in some super secret opensim space? Are they even reflecting that number is real? I can’t see how. It is simple enough for someone to create multiple registrations and just stop there…the registration is recorded anyway.

        Again, I have no real issues about how you report things Maria, but I have noticed how you change the wording and values of some things over time…which is proper as things do change…one being the Hyperverse connected part of Opensim is growing at a very good rate.

        And I see that all over reflected in VisionZ and Safari tours…so many people new out from SL (and much much less from inworldz despite what you like to say) who are really enjoying the new flexibility and freedoms that closed grids inherently do not and will not give their users, for whatever reasons, real or perceived.

        The condensation lands the Safari visited last wednesday are an excellent case in point, and one story of increasing amounts who feel similarly.

        https://hgsafari.blogspot.com/2016/11/safari-goes-house-to-house.html

        My answer to this you ask? I would suggest downplaying registrations a bit and filling in their left over space with more standard Hyperverse related information…there are really tons of words involved with that. And your own graphs show it is the growing space….then we let people decide whether or not they wish to restrict themselves in a closed grid, or enjoy the freedoms in the growing Hyperverse, or do both…many if not most people I read about still use SL.

        • Justin Time

          I have conducted an “unofficial” study of the top 10 listed Grids by popularity / new accounts / overall active community. I must exclude OSGRID, Metropolis, and Kitely from the top 10 as numbers for me were impossible to rationalize. I am not suggesting they are bad, I am suggesting they are nearly impossible to verify.

          To be dreadfully honest, my numbers are not remotely near those that are reported. How do I know? I created an account on each grid so that Hypergrid locked regions were still available to me.
          I have camped out on the grids at their Welcome Center or New User landing zone and traveled the maps looking for activity. I spent an average of 4 hours per trip per instance of three trips to each grid over different hours of the day. My methods are not scientific by any stretch of the imagination, but they do represent a more accurate measure for verification. I also spoke with mentors, grid administrators, and the general community.
          Using simple arithmetic, a grid that reports 600 new users a month but has none in twelve various hours of study might conclude that the new user numbers are skewed a bit. Having 20 to 150 active users on line but few if any to be found on the map is also a bit questionable.

          The bottom line is. The best grid, or most popular grid is the one you are a member of and enjoy your stay.

          • Justin, Kitely reports its exact monthly statistics for the moment at which we report them. You can see them live here: http://www.kitely.com/viewer_login

            Kitely currently hosts over 13900 regions (many of them private) and has had over 1340 users active inworld during the past 30 days. Kitely also intentionally spreads user “worlds” (private islands) so that they are at least 4 regions apart from other user worlds. You are therefore unlikely to find people who are inworld by just looking at the world map even if you zoom out the world map as far as you can.

            The way to find other people who are currently inworld in Kitely is to look at Kitely’s viewer login page and select one of the destinations currently being presented (other than the Kitely Welcome Center and the Kitely Merchants Sandbox which are presented even when they are empty). You can also use Kitely’s Explore Worlds page to find worlds where people are currently logged in: https://www.kitely.com/search

            It’s been a very long while since Kitely had no one inworld when it wasn’t offline for maintenance. As we automatically disconnect users who haven’t been active for more than 60 minutes, the people you encounter inworld are not likely to be just parked there. If you follow my suggestion for where to go to find people who are inworld and then try to talk to those people you’ll see that the numbers we report are not just made up.

          • Justin Time

            I was very brief with my analysis. As stated sir, I did talk with residents when I encountered them. I was NOT on a fault finding mission. It was merely a mission of curiosity to get a first hand look and feel rather than rely upon web pages and published information. I also clearly stated that I did not include Kitely in my study due to the nature of cloud services. I am NOT suggesting cloud services is bad, what I am suggesting is that mapping actual grid activity in person may not be reliable and therefore not worth my time. As far as OSGRID and Metropolis are concerned, my study was three four hour segments at different times. Both OSGRID and Metropolis are enormous in size and due to the fact that attachments are not only allowed, but encouraged, the actual numbers will be unreliable as well.
            My comparisons to what I observed were compared to what is published on the respective web pages for each grid I visited. I did not publish my findings. I am making the statement with confidence here, that NONE of the grids I visited gave me reason to think that their reported numbers were accurate. I did visit 10 regions from the top 13 regions because I had to disqualify three for reasons I have previously mentioned.
            I do NOT doubt your integrity Mr. Tochner, I simply can not verify your stats with any degree of honesty. therefore I simply did not include Kitely Grid in my “unofficial” survey.

          • I agree that the way people are spread out between different Kitely worlds, and the amount of activity taking place on private worlds, makes it hard for our users to know where people are hanging out at any given time.

            The way to overcome that is to add people as friends and see them indicated as online in your viewer when they’re inworld, or use the options I mentioned previously for finding publicly accessible worlds that currently have people inside them.

            An additional way to see groups of people inworld is to visit worlds when they are holding a publicly-accessible event. There are several such events held in Kitely during most days (see the Events section in our viewer login page).

          • Justin Time

            One of the first things I did on each grid was to join as many of the most popular groups that I could. Why? Names and who is currently on line. My “unofficial” survey took 40 days to complete and another ten days to compile because it was all real time with screen shots,physical counts, and comments. It was an effort to say the least. At my best efforts, my information is only as good as the day it was generated and is in no way conclusive. It is what it is.

          • Fair enough, but if you want to get a good indication about the amount of activity in Kitely then the aforementioned ways are how to go about doing so.

          • Justin Time

            Agreed. As previously stated, I have no reason to question your integrity as a grid owner. The only dubious number that you may have would be subscribers VS active in-world users. I previously stated in a different comment that it is not unusual for someone from a different grid, or one person who frequents several grids to join Kitely grid just to have an account there for reasons of Kitely Market alone. That single aspect would have zero effect on what you report other than TOTAL users (names in database). I perceive Kitely grid to be the cleanest most respectable of all the grids on the list. But that is just my opinion.

          • Thank you.

            There is a conversion funnel for each website on the internet. Our registration numbers represent just a part of the picture. Close to 50% of the thousands of people who visit our website each month have never done so before. Considering the effort we’ve spent on optimizing our funnel, it isn’t surprising that a significant number of them (low double digits) end up registering. A good percentage of those then enter Kitely worlds but that too is just a fraction of the number of people who register. A lower number yet remain active users over time. A lower number still become paying customers, etc. That’s just how things work.

            The registration numbers represent good conversion rates on our site but they are far lower than the number of unique visitors we get each month. Also, if you consider how many people who sign up to Second Life actually install the viewer, go inworld, or stick around, you’ll see that the numbers we report make a lot of sense.

        • Susannah Avonside

          I think the issue of retention is a crucial consideration. Many people I meet in SL who have visited OpenSim comment on how quiet it is, the difficulty of finding decent clothing/basic avatars etc. A couple of years ago there wasn’t much that could be done to mitigate that, but now we have things like OpenSimWorld and HYPEvent, that provide up to date information about what’s happening and where, and in the case of OpenSimWorld, how many avatars are present at any given location. Most people coming from SL will be comparing OpenSim worlds as like social environments for the most part: metamorphosing into a creative genius comes after someone has ‘settled in’ and become almost completely obsessed with being able to have huge virtual land holdings at virtually no cost, especially if they are able to host that themselves.

          Many are also concerned about their appearance. It has to be said that many OpenSim worlds’ initial avatar is either pretty uninspiring, or downright scary – and here I mean the ‘Ruth’ character in the red trousers and lilac T shirt that looks pug ugly! There is no need to go overboard, and for my Diva standalone I have configured a default avatar using some free (as in opensource) mesh clothing and a modified Eloh Eliot skin so the avie, when rezzed for the first time is wearng a (even if I say so myself) rather fetching green hoodie with my standalone’s logo on it and jeans, plus sturdy boots – the make avie is similarly attired. I’m now toying with the idea of adding a hand held bag which will contain some basic information about shopping, and places to go for social interaction/dancing etc, plus a basic explanation of what HG is, and how to use it, including a few HG landmarks.

          If we’re going to get people to stay, then we’re going to have to be a lot more pro-active, and whilst OpenSim is now a far more social place than when I seriously started in it some five years ago – and even then, it was not my first visit to OSGrid, as I actually created an avie there before I went to SL, and promptly forgot about that avie. I think I must have visited once and decided that OpenSim was a rather boring, crude and deserted place. It was only eighteen months later that I remembered, ironically as well as co-incidentally when a friend from SL couldn’t use her SL name for her OSG avie – because I’d given that first avie of mine that same name, long before I even knew that friend!

          Though I know that people will still visit OpenSim grids once and never return, there are things that can be done to encourage people to persevere, and that means explaining how OpenSim works, as it’s superficial similarity to SL actually means that the bigger, and quite different social picture of OpenSim is misunderstood. I too consider sheer numbers to be misleading, here in OpenSim as in SL, where I’m sure there are many hundreds of thousands, (and maybe millions) of people who have visited once and never returned.

          Once people have made a few friends, (and if HG is behaving itself, even friends on different grids show up and can be IMed) there is an incentive to stay and learn more about this wonderful Metaverse.

          • Well said Susannah. I agree about incentives.

            I also think part of the issue of retention relates to giving people the information they need to find those things they like.

            It is there, and you mention two of them, http://opensimworld.com/ and https://hypevents.net/ but there are also several very good hypergrid related blogs which include HG tutorials.

            Nara has one at http://www.narasnook.com/2014/01/an-authors-guide-to-metaverse-how-to.html (who btw, and along with her friends, does cutting edge work and shares it, as well as runs a writers’ community).

            virtual christine (taking a break currently) has one at http://virtualchristine.com/.

            Thirza, who runs the very well known HG Safari, has one https://hgsafari.blogspot.it/p/how-to-hypergrid.html.

            Maria has one http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/faq/how-to-hypergrid/ and there are more around, here and there.

            Another issue is one of confusion, some of it created purposefully, as to what is what. People should clarify such things on a regular basis I think.

            The hyperverse includes all those places, personal, grid, and, otherwise, who use the hypergrid protocol in connecting to places, to visit with friends and to collaborate.

            Connect up people to such as the HG Safari is a really good idea, the people there have many veterans of the hypergrid who are willing to step in and help others and new people.

            Pointing out resources such as Maria has on her pages, for content, for places to go, etc.

            Some people tend to get a bit samish as to what they promote, and that’s great of course, but it tends to diminish that there is so much more.

            I ran into some more old acquaintances yesterday from inwz…the guy was over on Magnuz’s terrains region with his g/f finding terrains to use in genesis grid, their new home. Despite what I said above, but that I most often meet SL people out and about, I still occasionally meet such people. We are connected up now again and I think it’s just wonderful-)