Social networks are, like subways and post offices, largely considered to be great equalizers. These days, everyone is on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and these sites are supposed to level the playing field, allowing people from all over the globe to communicate.

In recent years, though, news of exclusive dating apps like Raya has made the rest of the world feel like the peasants we truly are, and we’ve also learned of the existence of elite social media platforms that are basically the Frank Ocean song “Super Rich Kids” come to (digital) life.

Described as “digital country clubs”, these apps for the rich, famous and well-connected essentially operate like IRL country clubs – or secret societies, if you’re feeling nasty – to allow their users the sense of privacy and exclusivity they crave. Suzanne Dour, a member of Best of All Worlds, said she likes the app because it makes her feel “comfortable sharing exactly where I am and what I’m into.”

These apps are the expensive, members-only clubs we all try to get into, the Soho House of social media, and they couldn’t be more desirable an online location. Read on to learn about the apps you’ll likely never be a member of, and sigh as you log back onto Facebook in defeat afterwards:

Raya

 
Raya is, for all intents and purposes, the coolest and chicest app on this list. Albeit more well-known than some of the others, Raya is likely the first app that comes to mind when people think about celebs trawling for hookups.

It’s known as “Illuminati Tinder” for a reason: when browsing Raya, you could potentially match with celebs like Hannibal Buress, Aviici, Cara Delevigne, Diplo and tons of others.

Although it’s jam-packed with real celebrities, people have also reported seeing Instagram-famous celebs on it too, so if you have over 100k followers on IG, you may be able to cut the line of this exclusive club.

Best of All Worlds


Known affectionately as “BOAW” to its users, this luxurious digital getaway appears to be one of the leading apps cornering the market for exclusive social networks.

It’s not hard to see why: BOAW was founded by Swedish count Erik Wachtmeister, who founded a similar network called “A Small World” as a “Myspace for the elite” during its heyday.

The network’s hybrid approach makes it a sort of middle ground between Facebook and LinkedIn, because, of course, for the monied and well-connected, business is pleasure.

Like most über-cool hangouts, BOAW is invite-only. It’s unclear what, if any, cost is involved with joining, making this too-cool-for-school app all the more mysterious.

The Marque


While BOAW operates as a sort of LinkedIn/Facebook hybrid, The Marque is, in essence, a very, very exclusive Meetup. Rather than acting as a place to network, however, The Marque’s founder Andrew Wessels explained in an interview with The Verge that the social platform has a distinct purpose.

“It’s not a networking club,” he said. “Basically, our members spent their lives being sold to by people who want something from them. At our events, everyone feels so relaxed, because they’re surrounded by peers.”

Also, unlike BOAW, The Marque has a very clear price tag. It costs £1,000 a year to be a member, though, to its members, that amount is surely a drop in the bucket. It’s invite-only, and while Wessel’s interview hints at the finance career path of most of its users, he refers to it more as a “success-based network”.

It appears much more likely to cater to the Goldman Sachs crowd, rather than the Instagram-famous.

Rich Kids 


For the younger and more technologically-savvy, there’s Rich Kids; an Instagram-esque, photo-sharing app whose high monthly fee of €1,000 lets you post and share photos of all your grand adventures – or your expensive farm-to-table dinner.

Their business model is, admittedly, a bit strange: the app is technically free and open to the public, but users must shell out for the steep monthly fee to be able to post their own photos. It is, according to co-founder Juraj Ivan, a place where users can literally buy social media fame and avoid the pitfalls of the Instagram follow-for-follow circus.

“Buying fake followers and spamming others won’t make you famous, but [it will make you] annoying,” Ivan told The Verge. “Rich Kids gives you the option to buy yourself a place on the spotlight.”

While its membership is apparently still in “five digits” territory, Rich Kids users seem somewhat satisfied with the technical privacy the high price tag affords them, which just goes to show that if you slap a quadruple-digit price tag on anything, it will make people feel cool.

The League


While the above social networks offer forms of exclusivity based primarily around financial and/or career status, The League is something else entirely.

Similarly to Raya, The League involves a review process prior to admission, but whereas Raya’s entrance criteria is based on your status as an “influencer”, The League’s vetting process involves being put on a waitlist that’s definitely not at all elitist (ahem) while they assess how ambitious and worthy you are.

Apparently, The League is on the lookout for people who they believe their other users – all based in large American cities like New York, San Francisco, DC, and Chicago – will like, and aims to narrow and curate users’ prospective dating pools accordingly.

One woman’s description of The League’s intense rules and her resultant dates makes it seem exactly how one would expect: like a very cool and exclusive singles bar for brilliant, attractive people with a surprisingly discerning bouncer.


These apps are, for better or worse, selling what most of the large social networks simply cannot provide: a sense of luxury, exclusivity and superiority over those less fortunate who weren’t able to make it into their hallowed digital halls.

They certainly seem interesting, if expensive and/or exclusive apps are your thing. For the rest of us, Tinder and Instagram will have to do.

-Via Highsnobiety


Dani Mathers was recently slammed by social media after snap chatting a 70 year old naked lady in a LA fitness locker; body shaming her with the caption: “If I can’t unsee this, I can’t either”. 

After the whole rage, she was then banned from all LA fitnesses, charged with a misdemeanor count of invasion of privacy, and on Wednesday sentenced to perform 30 days of community labor and three years probation. 

Good for her! I mean who does she think she is? She will one day reach that age of 70 and then what? That old lady as a matter of fact looked great for her age, and for her to even seem confident about herself being nude in the shower is amazing! Kudos to you mama! 


Matterport is updating its depth-sensing camera for customers seeking to capture their businesses and real estate properties in virtual reality.

The Pro2 Camera is a spec bump rather than a rethink of the company’s first camera and is actually built upon improving the quality of its 2D still imagery for customers who are using print mediums in addition to the virtual reality tours which Matterport enables through its web and headset experiences.

Each of the Pro2’s three sensors have been updated to handle the 2D stills which can now capture stills at a 4k image resolution. The device also boasts a GPS chip to make it easier for frequent users to match shoots to properties, something that will grow even more following the company’s recent partnership with Google to enable 360-degree 3D viewing directly from within Street View.

Matterport was started in 2014 as a solution for customers wanting to capture spaces in an immersive way. The company has raised around $61 million from investors.

A big part of the update was to create a way for customers to take care of their 2D and 3D photo needs at once for a simpler, lower cost process.

“By better supporting tradition 2D media in the single solution, this is the best thing you can do to accelerate the adoption of 3D VR,” CEO Bill Brown told me.

The Matterport Pro2 camera will cost $3,995 and is available now for pre-order. The device starts shipping June 15.

-Via TechCrunch


Before it was filled with the aroma of espresso and the spray-painted canvases of Atomik’s grinning oranges, Javier Betancourt’s White Rose Coffee (6246 SW Eighth St., Miami) was a coke-and-wine den.

“When we started building out the bathrooms and pulled down the towel holders, there were stacks and stacks of cocaine baggies behind them,” the 31-year-old co-owner of Ocho Placas Tattoo Company says. “They had these wine-barrel tables, but the top was a total mirror.”

Today all that remains of the Little Havana haunt is a floor-to-ceiling mirror that lists affogato and kombucha alongside cortados, Americanos, and Cubanos.


Betancourt was better known for tattooing many of the city’s baristas, not pulling shots himself. Then, several months ago, he struck up a friendship with Per’La’s Paul Massard at the University of Miami gym, which swiftly segued into an idea he’d been mulling for some months.

“Out west, there’s really no independent coffee. The closest Starbucks is 20 to 30 blocks in either direction,” Betancourt says. “It just felt right, and I wanted to take a gamble.”

The space has been recast with a stark black-and-white palette and gritty skateboard videos blaring on a flat-screen television. The bar ensconcing the La Marzocco espresso machine is littered with palm-size sketchbooks bearing rough versions of tattoos drawn by some of Betancourt’s artists, who also work at the café.

Friday nights, the place plays double features, including a classic film during the wee hours. Saturday mornings, customers can order a $5 mix-and-match cereal bowl with classics such as Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops possibly topped with Oreos and marshmallows. No need to change out of your jammies; just take your dabs at home and mosey over. There will even be King Vitamin cereal — the ragged, sugary corn nuggets Betancourt recalls growing up on as a “lower-class Hispanic kid… It’s so good, and it’ll shred your mouth!” he exclaims.

“I grew up in this area, and I just wanted something cool to happen.”


Though it hasn’t been easy, Per’La — a local coffee-roasting company by Massard (who holds the coffee equivalent of a master sommelier certification) — and Chris Nolte stepped in to help. The company began roasting coffee on the western edge of Little Havana nearly two years ago and today is in more than two dozen restaurants and cafés across the city and is also sold online.

“A lot of people who want to open a shop have a passion for coffee, but for us it’s about training them and reinforcing that training,” Massard says. “We show them the whole process, from the raw product to the roasted product, then do a tasting so they can try the coffee side by side; then we start pulling shots.”

Yet the hardest part is persuading some of the neighbors to cough up five bucks for a brew.

“For me, it’s about having a responsibility to introduce this to the community and let them decide,” Betancourt says. 

-Via MiamiNewTimes 


The iconic 5Pointz establishment in Queens, New York — which allowed artists from all across the globe to express themselves via write-ups, throwies, murals and more — was demolished back in 2014 by real estate mogul Jerry Wolkoff. The aerosol haven, founded by artist/curator MERES ONE in 1993, is now a completely leveled site that will ostensibly boast two luxury condo complexes.

There is currently an ongoing legal battle between 5Pointz graffiti artists and Wolkoff. Despite the suit which involves Wolkoff whitewashing the artists’ murals before demolition, the developer has made a handful of interior decor requests that heavily cite street art for the condos. The irony is as real as it gets and these renderings posted by design firm Mojo Stumer Associates will presumably ignite even more controversy between the aforesaid parties — especially with the engraved graffiti logo in the photos above that looks eerily similar to MERE’s coveted 5Pointz insignia.

Regarding the renovation, Wolkoff told DNA New York that “It’s my building, and I let them express themselves for 25 years…I loved what they did. I have no animosity.” On the other hand, 5Pointz spokeswoman Marie Cecile sternly professed: “To the 5Pointz community, for him to name the building 5Pointz and to use a mock-up of a logo of ours, we feel the disrespect continues.”

Image Credit: Mojo Stummer Associates

-Via HypeBeast

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In early March, we were gifted with a first look at Nike’s “Be True” Flyknit Racer, just one part of a larger collection set out to support the LGBTQ community. What started out in 2012 as a grassroots effort led by passionate Nike employees to connect with the LGBTQ community, has been met with great success since its inception. Along with the Flyknit Racer, this year’s collection also houses a Air VaporMax, Air Zoom Pegasus 34 and a Classic Cortez silhouette. A range of tees, tanks and socks can also be found in the capsule, all bearing a vibrant rainbow and other prominent symbols of Pride, including the color pink and the triangle.

This year’s collection marks the first eight-color, HD rainbow Swoosh design — on the Nike Flyknit Racer — and the first rainbow VaporMax Air unit — on the NikeLab Air VaporMax Flyknit. It is also the first time the “Be True” collection will be available in key cities globally. Check out the colorful collection above and expect an official release at Nike’s official website and select retailers on June 1.

-Via HypeBeast