Recently Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab announced on twitter that we were going to get new starter avatars, giving people who are starting their Second Life a choice of (hopefully) better avatars than the ones they can pick now.

Ebbe was a bit too optimistic when he said the new avatars would arrive in March, but today he told me they would arrive in Second Life “before the end of next week”.

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This is quite exciting and perhaps the first step towards improving the new user experience, something most people agree about is rather bad and when improved could make Second Life a lot better and maybe even sort out the huge retention problem we’re suffering; a lot of new people don’t stay in SL very long.

Snapshot_016The first of these new avatars has already been spotted as Ebbe himself was using one during his talk at the 7th Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference last month.

Although new, better looking avatars are a great step in the right direction, I do worry about new users having to deal with mesh avatars and that some of these sometimes seem incapable of moving their mouths while talking.