I have always wondered what does the number of active users given by Lindens at 1.9 million, give or take a barrel, actually mean.
But I think I have stumbled on what sounds like a plausible explanation of a definition they’re working with, as usual, by accident.
It is reasonable to assume that an average land-owning resident owns around 1024 square meters — the majority of the land owners (that is, recorded as owners of the land in the About Land tab) would own less, while a certain percentage would own more. While certain residents will own estates, it will not affect the About Land information.
Around 30`000 sims are known to exist, which totals to about 1`966`080`000 square meters of land. Dividing that by 1024, we get 1`920`000 — which is the same 1.9 million Lindens report as ‘active residents’. They might not actually be active, as in, they might not actually log in, but they are easy to see as paying customers, either directly (on mainland) or indirectly (through their contribution to estate tier).
Considering that there are numerous reports of residents who paid for a year in premium fees, bought a land plot, put up a prefab on it and never came back, the actual number of ‘active residents’ we would consider — people who log in regularly and spend an appreciable time inworld — is probably somewhere just above a million, which would put the average inworld time at 12 hours a week for each of them.
But that’s not counting the traffic bots, which throw off any and all estimates, since it’s pretty much impossible to tell how many of them are there.