In the modern day and age, it seems as if there are more and more new forms of social media making their debut on the Internet. People--especially millennials--all across the world have become obsessed with sharing their lives on various social media platforms. Whether it be through posting their own pictures on Instagram, reposting other people’s images or quotes on Tumblr, or simply sharing articles on Facebook, everyone feels the need to disclose a little bit about themselves and their personal lives on the web.
Recently, a new kind of social network has been steadily gaining attention and notoriety, despite the fact that the concept itself is not groundbreaking. The site, called “This.cm,” is a platform that allows users to post one link a day, the idea being that only truly interesting material will be featured on the site’s stream. What is unique about this new site is its exclusivity: not only is a user limited to what content they post as well as how often they can post, but the platform is only available to those who receive an invitation from one of the nearly 4,500 users.
The site was created by Andrew Golis, who was hired by Atlantic Media to work on experimental projects. He explained the purpose of This., saying that he wanted to capitalize on the benefits of social sharing while compelling people to be sagacious regarding what they suggest other people listen to, read and watch. Users can only do four things on the site: they can post one link a day, they can follow other users, they can click on links posted by other users, and they can click “Thanks” to endorse a link they enjoyed.
While the website itself is not particularly over-designed or overhyped, there is increasing demand to be a part of this exclusive site. Although it challenges the notion of the Internet being a place for people to share whatever they want, whenever they want, people don’t seem to care. Well-established journalists have been tweeting asking people to invite them, even going so far as posting their email addresses.
The concept of using elitism as a marketing tool is not new. It has been seen in recently launched dating apps such as The League (a Tinder-like dating app for self-proclaimed “successful and ambitious” people); however, no other social sharing sites are of such an exclusive nature as This.
An important question to be raised revolves around the very nature of the site: if its focal selling point is its exclusivity, then will the site remain popular after receiving an invitation is no longer hard to accomplish? How many users does This. need to attract before it no longer seems exclusive? In time, it will be revealed whether or not This.cm will be a short-term fad or a long-term success.