Kitely rolls out in-world payments, Web messaging

Kitely continues to move ahead with its infrastructure improvements. Just a few days after telling me the details of how they planned to roll out in-world payments, they announced today that they’ve done it.

Kitely users can now buy and sell things with the Kitely Credits virtual currency, and track all their purchases from the Kitely website.

Kitely Credits transaction history. (Image courtesy Kitely.)

Since Kitely still depends on using Second Life-compatible viewers, there are a couple of things that users need to keep an eye out for, however.

“Unfortunately, the ‘Buy KC’ button doesn’t work in existing viewers because they hard-code it to go to Second Life, so buying KC can still only be done on our website,” said Oren Hurvitz, Kitely’s co-founder and VP of research and development, in the announcement.

In addition, some viewers show the balance as L$ instead of KC, but it’s still the correct amount, he added.

Some currency features are still to be enabled, however. They include the ability to pay for premium plans with Kitely Credits — which is coming soon — as well as to set up ATMs and connect third-party exchanges to trade Kitely Credits for cash or for other virtual currencies. Premium plans including monthly allocations of usage minutes, free regions, and, in the future, will also include megaregions. Both usage time and region costs can already be paid for with Kitely Credits.

In addition, region owners will be able to change how much other users are charged to access their regions, so that owners of popular destinations can charge an additional access fee and pocket the money.

Web messaging

Kitely also added a feature today by which users can messages to other users from the Kitely website, without logging into the world.

“The message appears in-world, just as if you had sent it from your avatar,” said Hurvitz. “If the user is offline then the message will be saved until the next time they enter any world.”

There is a limit to 25 offline messages per user.

Teapot support

Kitely now also supports the Teapot viewer, in addition to Firestorm, Catznip, Dolphin, Exodus, Imprudence, Kokua, Nirans, Restrained Love and the official Second Life viewers.

If a new user has no viewer at all installed with they first come to the Kitely website, Kitely automatically installs the Firestorm viewer for them.

Teapot, like Firestorm, is based on the latest generation of the official Second Life viewers, which means that it supports mesh, media-on-a-prim, outfits, and other new features.

Imprudence used to be the recommended viewer for OpenSim grids but is no longer being actively developed, and does not support mesh and media-on-a-prim.

New group limits

Kitely users were previously able to create any number of groups they wanted, at no charge. As the grid gets bigger, this becomes a problem, since all the good group names get taken, and then most sit around unused.

Now it costs 100 KC to create a group, or about US $0.50 — less, if the credits are bought in bulk.

In addition, no one user can create more than 100 groups, and if a group doesn’t get at least one new member within two days, it automatically dissolves so that its name can be used by other people.

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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. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

7 Responses

  1.' Ilan Tochner says:

    Thank you Maria.

    There are already several thousand dollars worth of Kitely Credits sitting in people’s accounts and many people are eager to buy professionally made content for their avatars and worlds. I think now would be a good time for people who wish to open a virtual business in Kitely to get a head start on the competition 🙂

    •' C3 says:

      i set a large spaceship to sell copy/mod at the StarbaseC3 world… have no idea if it works yet;)

      •' Phoneix Dreamscape says:

        If there isn’t a working spaceship in Kitely yet, with content protection and now currency, there soon will be 🙂

  2. I also forgot to mention in the article that Kitely has some serious content protection measures in place.

    If someone wants to make a copy of a region, or download it to their home computer (which just takes a click — so nice!) all content that isn’t marked transfer *and* copy is filtered out. 

    So if you’re a creator, and want to ensure that your creations don’t leave the Kitely grid, just mark your creations either “no copy” or “no transfer.”

    In addition, similar content protection measures will be put in place when Kitely turns on hypergrid. Right now, Kitely is waiting for the HG 2.0 standard, which is due out later on this summer. It is expected to include object-level permissions, so that creators will be able to decide which of their items can leave a grid, and which can’t.

    Kitely will be implementing and enforcing that standard on their grid, so that creators can feel safe that, even once hypergrid is turned on, their content can’t leave unless they want it to.

    I personally think Kitely has a good solution here to the problem of making backups versus protecting content. 

  3. For explorers, there is another new feature: after clicking on a link in the Public Worlds directory to open a World description page, the browser back button returns you to the same place in the Public Worlds directory where you clicked from. This enables progressive movement through the directory, rather than being returned to the first page. Kitely has hundreds of public worlds, so this will definitely enable efficient progress for looking into them.

    •' Ilan Tochner says:

      Thanks Lawrence.

      This feature was requested in last week’s Kitely Mentors
      Group meeting. We think it’s important that people will know that they
      too can have a say in how Kitely develops. We listen… 🙂