Facebook and other social media sites are free for everyone. But a new social media site launched this month promises to be more exclusive by only permitting people who are rich to join.
The site is called Netropolitan. To join, users must pay $9,000. This includes a $6,000 entry fee plus $3,000 for the yearly membership fee.
James Touchi-Peters is the founder of Netropolitan. He is a composer and orchestra conductor from the eastern American state of New York. He says he believes there is a need and an audience for this service. He says he had trouble finding people like him on other social sites. He says Netropolitan is a place where rich people can talk about what he calls “the finer things in life.” In his words, “Netropolitan is an online country club focused on connecting members around the world.” He says it is “for people with more money than time.”
Unlike Facebook, everything on Netropolitan is private. The site is not included -- or indexed -- by search engines like Google or Bing. Non-members can only see the log-in screen when they visit the site. Information to and from the site is hidden, or encrypted. This gives the site’s members even more privacy.
Netropolitan does not have any advertising. And it will employ monitors to prevent bad behavior.
Members must be 21 or older. And they must use their real names and addresses to register. Once they have registered, members can do things like create groups and join discussions on the site.
Mr. Touchi-Peters has not said how big he hopes the site’s membership will grow. And he has not said how many members the site has. He does say it has a small group of “pre-qualified members.”
The website says it “will never publicly state the exact number of members in the club. And especially, we will NEVER release or verify the identity of any of our members -- ever.”
I’m Jonathan Evans.
VOA correspondent George Putic reported this story from Washington. Jonathan Evans added reporting and research using material from CNN and Entrepreneur magazine, and wrote it for Learning English. Christopher Cruise edited it.
Words in this Story
exclusive - adj. available to only a few people because of high cost
index/indexed - v. to list or include something in an index (Example: This search engine has indexed hundreds of millions of websites.)
encrypt/encrypted - v. to change information from one form to another, especially to hide its meaning
register - v. to have one’s name officially placed on a list of people permitted to vote in an election or take part in something.
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