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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Electronic Exclusivity: Apps for the Rich and Famous

They say money can’t buy happiness. However, where phones are concerned it can certainly buy you an easier life. For years wealthy people have indulged in fast cars, meals out and extravagant holidays. Now with the advent of social media, the evolution of the internet,and phone apps becoming more and more popular, people are putting their money where the technology is.

Vertu, the luxury mobile phone handset, is leading the way with many exclusive offers and services sent straight to your Vertu mobile phone. Albeit, you do have to fork out at least £3,500 rising to £55,000 for the privileges (you need to own a handset) but many of the rich will do so if it allows them to become members of private clubs, gain entry to supposedly full events and receive expert assistance at the touch of a button.

As the financially privileged are often used to getting what they want, when they want it, Vertu’s concierge is available 24 hours a day to meet the needs of their customers.

But it’s not only phone manufacturers who are getting in on the act, however, with websites fast cottoning on to the vastly under serviced demographic which is the filthy rich. Invitation only social networking site ‘Total Prestige’ is one of the first and offers users a LinkedIn/Facebook type experience but with total exclusivity. There is a very hefty joining fee (if you get that far), but that unleashes the world of super duper business, brushing cyber shoulders with the fat cats and having the option to sell your wares to people who can afford anything they want.

There is a VIP section, (as with any posh club, online or otherwise) and this requires a further amount to be shelled out each year - $500 a year for club members and $900 a year for non-members). In this section, users can promote their products and write for the online magazine, therefore targeting their preferred market. This site appears to be veering towards LinkedIn more than a Facebook template with the emphasis on business, networking and self-promotion rather than catching up with old friends.

There are several variations of Total Prestige including Affluence.org and Whytegold.com, all which require an invite and large annual subscription fee. What is obvious is that these sites are targeting affluent individuals who have come to a point where they do not want to mix with ‘normal’ everyday people. Indeed, they are happy to pay for the privilege which gives them that step up onto the rung above the rest of us.

With the influx of dating sites over the last few years there was sure to be one developed for the elite and in stepped Sugardaddy.com, an online meeting place for millionaires. However, when we say millionaires we mean the men, as it is them who pay the $24.99 subscription fee every month. The ladies join for free, can chat with wealthy men and, if they impress them, can be whisked away on expensive dates. Critics have slammed the site, and others have followed suite, by saying it is tantamount to an online platform for men to pick up prostitutes.

Other sites popular with successful singletons are millionaire dating sites which match men and women on the same financial page. These are a completely different concept to Sugardaddy.com and both parties pay a monthly membership fee in the hope of finding their match.

While the Internet is booming in the current financial climate due to bargains and cheaper channels for buying and selling, there is also a large online market for individuals who are successful and financially secure. Until recently this was a vastly under populated niche, however now technology companies are stepping up to the plate and developing products and services especially for them, possibly in the hope they can become as rich as their customers.

There are no huge membership fees at Ladbrokes Bingo; you can even play for free!
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