In a new report, the Verge profiled the elite, invite-only social networks which the rich and successful use as modern-day country clubs.
Citing the decline of country and golf clubs, which no longer attract a large youthful presence, the Verge listed the top digital equivalents of 2017.
“Best of All Worlds,” which is described as an invite-only “Yelp-Facebook hybrid,” allows users to travel the world with a consistent level of familiarity and luxury.
“Think of it as a Yelp-Facebook hybrid for the elite, where a group of wealthy, famous, or successful users can meet people of similar stature, as well as find events, hotels, and restaurants that promise a familiar kind of curated luxury no matter where they are in the world,” wrote the Verge in their report. “Founder and CEO Erik Wachtmeister has launched similar apps before — he says once, while on a wild boar hunt in Germany, the idea of an online meeting place for ‘global nomads’ struck him. Wachtmeister says that unlike other social networks, Best of All Worlds delivers ‘privacy, intimacy, and relevance’ to its users.”
UK-based “online directory” The Marque, which costs £1,000 per year and is also invite-only, allows high-profile individuals to meet with one another without the risk that a social climber or networker might join.
“The website is a jumping-off point for IRL connections: members usually organize events where they can talk freely among people of a similar social tier — without interruption from outsiders looking to elevator pitch their way to success,” The Verge explained. “Like Best of All Worlds, The Marque operates under an invite-only membership process, but an invite isn’t enough to get you in the door. After someone is recommended by an existing member, they must meet with Wessels or another Marque executive to determine their fit.”
“It’s not a networking club,” said the platform’s founder, Andrew Wessels. “Basically our members spent their lives being sold to by people who want something from them. At our events, everyone feels so relaxed because they’re surrounded by peers.”
There’s also the secret celebrity dating app Raya, which reportedly has a Fight Club-style “never speak about Raya” rule, and has been alleged to contain users such as producer Avicii, model Cara Delevingne, and Friends star Matthew Perry.
Others market themselves to the less rich and famous, like the Instagram alternative “Rich Kids,” but you still have to pay over $1,000 a month to use the platform.
“Anyone can become a Rich Kids user for free, but if you want to share photos of your yachting holiday to Montenegro, you’ve got to cough up more than $1,000 each month,” declared the Verge. “It’s a steep fee for the honor of posting your photos where anyone can see them. Given the wide availability of photo-sharing apps, the business model doesn’t make a lot of sense. But Rich Kids co-founder Juraj Ivan claims the app’s exclusivity means users won’t have to compete with other influencers for the chance to, well, influence.”
You can read the full report at the Verge.