The world’s most exclusive online community


Netropolitan

Photo from netropolitan.info

‘Consider this hypothetical situation: You, a wealthy socialite, want to make friends over the internet, but without encountering any of the riff-raff that hangs out on traditional social networking sites. What do you do?’ (RT America 2014).

This Tuesday, Netropolitan – a new social networking website – started accepting members. Only deep-pocketed people can join, since the first-year fee is $9,000 and $3,000 every year after that. As a member you can ‘connect with people within your social status, but outside your social circle’. The platform is ‘highly secured’ and works similar to Facebook, but instead of befriending others, users can ‘follow’ members of their interest. The platform is ad-free and members must use their real name.  The company expects that the majority of user activity will be on its discussion board, which will be moderated. (Netropolitan 2014).

This new social network is targeting a small group of consumers in a differentiated segment. You might say that that these consumers, who are definitely not price sensitive, will exhibit trading out behaviour, which ‘occurs when consumers make their product choices based on an assessment of what product offers them the best fit, irrespective of price.’ (Li et. Al. 2014). The company believes that there is a specific need for a platform like this, as its public relation firm stated that the founder ‘and others have mentioned feeling judged for talking about certain topics on other social media outlets. Like they were bragging and met with a little ill will’ (Mitchell 2014).

In the past months there were a lot of sarcastic articles, blogs and comments posted online about this ‘Facebook for the rich’ (RT America 2014). Some believe that it is a scam, others state that on this platform ‘high-rollers can crowdsource names for their yachts or complain about having to fly commercial to a like-minded, sympathetic audience’  (Herman 2014). What do you think?

Sources

Herman, B 2014, Netropolitan, social networking for rich people, International Business Times, viewed 18 September 2014, <http://www.ibtimes.com/netropolitan-social-networking-rich-people-1689481>

Mitchell R, 2014, Metropolitan.club: A Facebook for Rich people, LA Times, viewed 18 September 2014, <http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-facebook-for-rich-people-20140915-story.html&gt;

Netropolitan 2014, viewed 18 September 2014, <http://netropolitan.info/&gt;

Newcomb, A 2014, Tour the Social Network for Rich People, ABC News, viewed 18 September 2014, <http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/tour-social-network-rich-people/story?id=25127119>

RT America 2014, ‘Facebook for the rich’ begins accepting members at $9,000 a piece, The RT Network, viewed 18 September 2014, <http://rt.com/usa/188496-netropolitan-social-network-touchi/>

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2 responses to “The world’s most exclusive online community”

  1. joost de kok says :

    It is interesting to see how, in a world with so many innovative social networks, one comes up with such a simple yet effective idea to create a niche market in the only way that could actually make this work – creating a considerably high paywall.

    Though I expect hackers wanting to break into the system and trying to get a hold on the rich user’s bank details ..

  2. 356887wp says :

    I have read about this Facebook alternative a couple of days ago as well and I asked myself whether the ‘pay-wall’ is high enough to be perceived as such an ‘exclusive circle’ in the future: Numerous platforms targeting the wealthy clientele have been launched in the past. ASmallWorld for instance was launched with a similar value proposition in 2007, yet it attracted too many members (a lot out of pure curiosity) to still qualify as being a ‘truly’ exclusive platform. A more pragmatic method of exclusively targeting wealthy people would be to have certain net worth restriction, let’s say that only individuals with a net worth of more than $5 Million are eligible to enter the platform.
    Whether the platform will flourish will remain questionable, but it is indeed a good example of putting ‘trading out’ into practice.

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