A New Breed of Social Media

By Eloise Alba “A villa rental in Sardinia, a cocktail gathering in Shanghai and all the people, parties, and places in between.”  Sound interesting? You can avail of these perks and more for 80 Euros ($105) a year. The new business model of online social network A Small World intends to ditch its previous advertising-supported scheme, downsize an existing pool (from 850,000 members to 250,000), draft a new set of privileges (from over 500 luxury retailers we hear), and delegate an annual fee to the chosen few who will be invited to rejoin the site. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the web-based social network, A Small World was founded in 2004 by Erik Wachtmeister—Swedish-born count (seriously), investment banking professional and GQ Magazine’s 4th Most Influential Digital Man in Britain. A controlling interest of the online site was subsequently acquired by The Weinstein Co. in 2006 and has since served as a communication and services platform, giving members access to numerous job boards, real estate listings, and discussion forums. The company was once pigeonholed as a “MySpace for millionaires,” primarily because of their invite-only policy. A privileged few are selected and a selected few are invited so unless you’re a well traveled, affluent, and style conscious global citizen (or know a member who is), you can’t be a part of their world (pun intended).
The new look of their re-launched website.

The new look of their re-launched website.

The re-launch of the site takes place over the weekend in Marrakech, no less and among those recorded to attend the Diane Von Furstenberg sponsored junket are Olivia Wilde, Poppy Delevingne, Waris Ahluwalia, and Dianna Agron. “Unlike Facebook, our value proposition isn’t keeping in touch with people you already know. It’s about having a social experience with someone new and trusted,” says Sabine Heller, CEO of the brand. With Olivia Wilde and Poppy Delevingne? That’s one invitation we’ll be hoping to receive.

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