A new social network designed to appeal only to the richest users will cost $9,000 to join.
Netropolitan — which has a not-particularly-glamorous .info domain — removes some of the technical issues many people have with sites such as Facebook. All content is behind a password and is blocked from indexing by search engines.
There’s also moderation of content by what the company describes as “professional” moderators who are always available for live support. As a result, all public posts on the site must be written in English (or at least, one hope’s that’s the reason.)
The site will carry no third-party advertising or paid promotions. The only promotional material will be that posted by members, which has restrictions, while the site vows not to sell or pass on personal data. And for those with a lot of caviar catalogs to keep track of, there’s unlimited online storage as part of the membership.
The catch is the cost: there’s a $6,000 joining fee plus a $3,000 annual membership fee payable in advance. That’s openly modeled on the way country clubs work. Members must be at least 21 and use their real names.
So why would people with money to spend want to have their own social network, other than to prove they can afford it? Well, it seems founder James Touchi-Peters hasn’t had such a great time on ordinary social networks. He told CNN that “I saw a need for an environment where you could talk about the finer things in life without backlash.”
Touchi-Peters seems smart enough to know that, however exclusive the target audience, social networks need a critical mass of membership to be sustainable. He’s given memberships to several hundred people in “a select group of pre-qualified members,” proving once again that the richer you are, the more freebies you get.