Tinder and Forbes might seem like an unlikely pairing, but they’ve just collaborated on a social networking app (to be launched this October) – one with very, very exclusive membership criteria. In order to join, you have to have made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list; it’s being touted as “speed networking” for rising stars.
The set-up is reported to be essentially the same as Tinder, with added features like a newsfeed; if you swipe right on another member of the 30 Under 30 club (at last count, this club had around 2000 members) and they swipe right on you, you’ll be invited to chat and engage with each other’s profiles.
Online social networks, at their best, emulate the relationships we have offline; they just allow us to cross geographical boundaries and engage with others at any time of the day, from the comfort of our home or while we’re in transit. This social network might sound overly exclusive, but the numbers are on a par with attendance at most of the popular conferences and events for respected young professionals and entrepreneurs – it’s just the latest and most convenient incarnation of something that already exists.
It’s also clear why Facebook might not be the best option for this kind of activity. Even if it were in the form of a private, member-only group, they’d still be forced to share their personal profile link; and they wouldn’t be able to restrict who they’re chatting with, without blocking or actively ignoring the person. They may also be wary of Facebook’s information sharing policy, particularly when talking about new ventures; said policy is frustratingly vague.
If there’s a niche, a private social network is being created for it; and whether that niche is large or small, they represent tremendous potential.