Second Life rings the changes with Avaline

Linden Labannounced mid-week that its AvaLine: Dial an Avatar service completed its beta program (launched in May) and is now available for subscriptions online. It claims that use of the AvaLine application “makes it easier than ever to connect with the real world.” For 1,200 Linden Dollars per month, a Resident can sign-up for the service to call and receive calls from anyone in the world, given that the Resident is inworld. The application will also be offering a voicemail service (price to be announced) to subscribers.

Taka Linden, SL’s new product and business manager of communication services, explains that the service allows SL Residents to take calls while staying immersed in the virtual world without having to manage an independent application – it’s built directly into SL. Taka clarified how the AvaLine works in his blog:

“To talk with a Resident, a caller simply dials a nearby local access number (available in more than 40 international cities), and enters the Resident’s personal connection code. If the Resident is online and accepts the call, the two parties can begin talking immediately, just as on a regular phone call or inworld voice chat. If the Resident is not inworld or declines the call, the caller may leave a voicemail message that the Resident will receive as an email attachment. The caller pays only what’s required to connect to the local number, and the Resident pays only the flat-rate AvaLine subscription fee, regardless of the geographic distance between the parties, the number of calls received, or the number of minutes used.”

Sounds like Linden Lab is working hard to address the alternatives of inworld communication platforms. Will it work given the global popularity of Skype? Maybe not, but it might be a solution to chopped off IM messages commonly noted in community forums.

More Avaline discussion over on Massively.