The Second Life of Social Media

What is the Second Life of social media? at first glance it might seem a more extensive form to say social media 2.0.


(Alberto Cecchi) In reality, when I think of Second Life, I think of that “social network” of which the whole world was talking about 10 years ago and that the world and our lives seemed to be revolutionary.

A virtual world where the real nations opened their embassy and where companies and people invested time and money convinced to colonize a world that would grow and proliferate.

The press and television did not miss an opportunity to talk about Second Life until in February 2007 Second Life reached its peak of maximum popularity. In that same year a progressive and inexorable decline began, which still continues today. If you go now on the Wikipedia page where we talk about Second Life the same bibliographic references are related to articles that are 10 years old on average. Few people dedicate time to observe the decline of what opinion leaders and mainstreams presented as a new world.

Second Life popularity history on Google Trends

Second Life popularity history on Google Trends

I am talking about this phenomenon because I’m afraid that if an eighteen year old should ever read this article probably does not know what I am talking about. I think it’s important to talk about it again because maybe there are other social phenomena that could have similar trends. The phenomenon of the last ten years that has supplanted Second Life is called Facebook. We all know this and almost all of them have used it sooner or later.

Facebook as a Search Term on Google

Facebook as a Search Term on Google

This is the historical trend of Facebook in the last 14 years. The most interesting thing turns out to be the counter trend compared to Second Life. When the Second Life sunset begins, the rapid rise of Facebook begins at the same time. This growth stabilizes in 2010 and subsequently peaks in 2013 and then begins a slow, inexorable decline.

These data obviously do not have a direct relationship with the number of Facebook users. However, in my opinion, they express an interest in the service. This interest seems to diminish inexorably.

In a recent article in The Guardian we highlight how:

“Just 51% of US individuals aged 13 to 17 say they use Facebook – a dramatic plunge from the 71% who said they used the social network”

To finish the reflection we now observe the trend of Whatsapp. Mass application, social, which allows you to communicate with your private contacts. An application that does not publicly display information and allows you to select very restrictive privacy policies. We observe a progressive growth on a planetary level. It seems that the star of Facebook is going into the background while new communication tools that provide more privacy and control of your network much more accurate.

World Historical trend of WhatsApp

World Historical trend of WhatsApp


Difficult to draw conclusions, it is clear that over time the communication tools change and change our habits. If we are going to dig further we find that in fact in the United States the search term “WhatsApp” is already in decline since 2015. The object that more and more in recent periods is being questioned seems to be the smartphone that brings us closer to what is far but it takes us away from what is near.

We look at the trend of the word “smartphone” and reflect,The next big thing could be the second life of social media:

Smartphone search term on Google Trends

Smartphone search term on Google Trends



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Alberto Cecchi

Educational Consulting, international academic relations. Researcher in the new media, design and social media. Specialties: 15 years of experience as Lecturer at the Universities of Urbino and Perugia, Multimedia Design and Computer Science. Author of Books and Articles about Design, New Media, Internet Security Education (History of Cryptography).

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