Its name is ASMALLWORLD or, ASW, and it’s the most exclusive social network.
What it is
ASMALLWORLD is the leading private international lifestyle club, founded in 2004 as one of the first online social networks. Our members are internationally-minded people committed to opening their lives to each other, sharing extraordinary experiences and ensuring that fellow members can live like locals wherever they go.
This is what the claim said and also, the social is by invitation only. This means you can be invited by a member or you can request to be accepted. The internal team will decide to accept you or not based on your lifestyle, titles, job and experiences you had. (I don’t know exactly how they verify those information)
Members are limited to just 250,000, living in 150 cities around the globe. The goal is to create a “small world” with internationally minded people, connected and available to exchange thoughts, experiences and benefits.
Another important thing to tell is the price: in fact, you have to pay $105 yearly fee. This includes exclusive VIP discounts, invitations to events and a free week in a resort (yes!) and other privileges.
After the subscription you also get a membership card you have to show every time to attend an event or you use your membership for a discount.
ASW also has an app with an app where you can find members nearby, check into venues, learn about events in your area and ask questions.
I knew ASMALLWORLD for the first time in 2008 and I got an invitation in 2010. At the time the version of the website was still the old one and many features, available today, were not available yet. Furthermore there was not an entry fee and because of that membership was pretty difficult to get. After the makeover, in 2012, the website became more usable, and so the app. A better UX and a little re-branding made the exclusive social network, even more exclusive and desirable.
That’s why they also decided to charge a yearly fee and also why I decided to join the network. You know, when they say something is exclusive, people can’t resist, and they are available to pay! Pure marketing! So, I joined the network with the yearly fee. As a digital marketer, always interested in new stuff and tools, I was pretty curios to know more about the community behind the platform.
Actually the website changed for real. To be honest, I found people who seem to be interesting for real: globetrotter, entrepreneur, philanthropist and more. The interactions are pretty the same you have on other social media: you can ask friend requests, send private messages, join and create groups and likes other people activities. Since members are hard travelers, there’s a nice menu bar you can edit depending on the location you are, or where you are going to travel next.
This feature, combined with the app, allows members to know where they are and meet in person if they are willing to. Members can also highlight the purpose of a meeting, like for business, or just to meet new people.
Unlike the other social networks this is the biggest difference: it’s an online community to promote in-persons interactions.
The first months I joined the social I started with random connection, based on similar interests, jobs and location. Except some interesting leads good for my business, I also got a lot of invitations from woman, from all over the world, asking to meet for a drink or a dinner in Milan or New York (the cities I was available in the geolocator).
I am married, so I kindly declined those invitations, but I must say that, this private social, gives you a real opportunity to meet new people. I think that most (or a part) of the members use the social as a powerful dating tool. Also because they know other members have common interests.
I also got some job contacts and, I must admit, replies are different from feedbacks I usually get from people when I use other social media. It is like you are member of a special club and they treat you differently. And actually, it is.
When I joined the social, I did it with my wife. We both had a complementary free room for a night in a resort located in Swiss. The resort, was located close to the lake of Lugano and we had a really nice stay. When we left we showed the membership cards and we paid just the extras. That’s was a cool welcome gift! 🙂
Other benefits include: special offers and discounts for luxury resorts, products and goods; invitations to private events; tips and more.
The social is very “fashion-oriented”, that’s why lot of members are from Fashion, Luxury and Leisure industry.
Is it for you?
After a couple of months I started visiting the private social less often, that’s why I decided to don’t renew the membership a second year. This doesn’t mean it’s not interesting and it doesn’t worth the entry fee. In fact I will probably renew it again. If you are travelers explorers, people living an entrepreneurial life, luxury lovers, fashion and charming places addicted, you should ask to be a member. Oh and, I forgot, also if you are single and looking to meet new people during your business trips 🙂