One of the hallmarks of most successful social media apps is that there are tons of users, all generating tons of content, and driving tons of traffic. You’d think that it’d be a cornerstone of a social media platform to have that kind of stuff, but there is another approach; the exclusive approach.
There is a certain niche of social apps that are exclusive and walled off from the general population. Lizzie Plaugic at The Verge describes them as “digital country clubs,” and I think she’s right. These apps can range from invite only, to a monthly fee of more than $1,000, but the main idea is basically that the general population is gross and for those who are above the swine there should be a digital gathering space.
A few examples include Best Of All Worlds, and The Marque, both of which are invite only. There are also 2nd tier exclusive apps which just require money to join, like Rich Kids. Users of Rich Kids pay about $1,000 a month to post pictures, although anyone can view them. Take a look at this photo here, posted by user Emir Bahadir.
Notice the rich clothing and the cameraman documenting how rich he is. His caption is trite and sounds like something I thought was deep in the 6th grade, but it doesn’t matter because he probably paid at least three people to tell him how great he is.
Overall, it’s mostly pretty gross. It’s needless elitism, and it all operates under such thinly veiled disgust at the common man. They talk of making communities of privacy and trust, but they mirror the country clubs of yesterday so closely. Designed by the rich and influential, for the rich and influential.