Private Social Networks and the Value of True Connection

The head of the Catholic church might seem an unlikely candidate when it comes to people making poignant, interesting comments about social media, but in section 47 of his treatise Laudato Si, Pope Francis has done just that. He writes:

“Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail, now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature.”

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Newsletters vs a Private Social Network

Services like Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor are making it easier and easier for people to send good looking, fully responsive newsletters out to their client base. They can get great results for businesses wanting to boost sales…but the percentage of people who actually open their newsletters is fairly pathetic. Mailchimp’s average open rate for newsletters sits at around twenty percent – keeping in mind that these are really slick newsletters, often with great offers or information inside. This is significantly better than the engagement people get from Facebook; on the higher end of the scale, posts are likely to organically reach 16% of followers (unofficial sources cite this as being as low as 2 – 6%).


While having a private social network and sending regular newsletters don’t have to be mutually exclusive, people are likely to unsubscribe if you’re sending them a newsletter every time you have some small piece of information to share; when it comes to newsletters, people prefer quality over quantity. It’s clear that Facebook is either going to be expensive or a waste of time if you really need or want a message to get out to everyone in your circle. A private social network resolves both of these problems – you can send out little-but-important updates and bits of information without people feeling spammed, and as long as people are logging in regularly, your post reach on a private social network is going to be around 100%.

If you’re a business who regularly does pop-up sales, have customers who like to be kept up to date with stock availability, or has a lot of day-to-day information in general, check out our live demo to see how PeepSo works – your imagination is the only limit.