‘Netropolitan’ is a new social networking website that caters exclusively to the ultra-rich. Described as ‘the online country club for people with more money than time’, the website costs a whopping $9,000 to join. And that’s just the initiation fee; there’s also an annual membership fee of $3,000.
That sounds like an exorbitant amount, considering the fact that popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter are free of charge. The whole thing almost sounds like a prank, but Netropolitan founder James Touchi-Peters assures us that the service is quite real.
“This is 100 percent real, and I believe there is a need and an audience for this service,” said Touchi-Peters, 48, a composer and former conductor of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra. He got the idea for Netropolitan when he had trouble relating to the people he met on other social websites.
“I saw a need for an environment where you could talk about the finer things in life without backlash – an environment where people could share similar likes and experiences,” he explained. So he decided to launch a premium network that is deliberately expensive, in order to ensure that membership remains exclusive
Naturally, the service is free from advertising, which might be seen as a huge incentive to join. The site and its contents will not be indexed by search engines and active moderators are always at hand to address bad behavior like spamming. The site’s guidelines also point out that Netropolitan is not a concierge service.
“Our Member Service Associates will not book you a charter jet, or find you tickets to a sold-out Broadway show,” the website’s FAQ section reads. “They exist solely to help members technically navigate and find their way around the social club.”
According to Touchi-Peters, the site’s current user base has been seeded with ‘a select group of pre-qualified members’. It will always continue to remain exclusive to public figures, he said, not unlike an elitist real-world club.
“We view Netropolitan.club in the same light as any country club out there,” he said. “They have initiation fees and yearly dues for members. Netropolitan is an online country club, focused on connecting members around the world. We believe there is a need for a community like this, and we are filling the need.”
Photos: Netropolitan Social Network
Netropolitan functions quite similarly to existing social networks – members will have access to posts and status updates by all other users, and they may form groups around common interests. But membership is open to people only above 21 years of age, and real names must be used to register.