Will pivot its business model from advertising to subscription with new offerings, global member privileges

NEW YORK, May 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, ASMALLWORLD, one of the first social networks, is re-launching with a new business model. Once based on advertising, the new ASMALLWORLD is shifting to a subscription model. With a peer-recommended and verified user base capped at 250,000 and a bold new set of amenities for its members, ASMALLWORLD will transform into the world's leading international travel and lifestyle community.

"The new ASW is more than a social network and really even more than a travel community," says CEO Sabine Heller, who has spearheaded the development of the new concept since 2011. "ASMALLWORLD offers access to everything from a villa rental in Sardinia to a cocktail gathering in Shanghai—and all the people, parties, and places in between. Ultimately, our members can live like locals and feel at home wherever they go."

Heller further explains the re-launch as a matter of "trust," noting that one-tenth of Facebook users are spam or duplicates, and that on Twitter, fake accounts are often the most followed. "By moving to a paid structure, ASW will have a fully verified user base," she said. "This will ensure the integrity of our community in a way that no social network has ever done before."

"Our overarching commitment is to the creation of real value for our members," says ASW's Chairman Patrick Liotard-Vogt. "We want to give them an offer they cannot refuse." True to his word, Liotard-Vogt has negotiated a deal with five-star sustainable Caribbean resort Kittitian Hill through which every member is entitled to a free weeklong stay for two people.

The new ASW will offer:

  • WEBSITE: A new, easy to navigate website, with in-depth, authenticated member profiles, customized to each individual user and his or her interests
  • MEMBERSHIP CARD: An exclusive membership card designed by actor and designer Waris Ahluwalia, acting as a passport to ASW, giving you access to privileges and ASW events worldwide. (The card's motto: "Feel at home anywhere.")
  • PRIVILEGES: A newly established, highly curated privileges program offering special access, deals and discounts with hundreds of global partners across three verticals:
    • Travel (hotels, airlines)
    • Lifestyle (beauty salons, spas, gyms)
    • Luxury goods (fashion and designer brand
      This program will kick off with more than 500 global and local partners and will continue to grow daily
  • NIGHTLIFE: Complementary membership to The World's Finest Clubs, a global nightlife concierge service, guaranteeing access to 120 premier nightclubs across five continents. (A membership to WFC normally costs EUR2000.)
  • EVENTS: More than 50 global events, organized and curated by ASW for its members around the world every month, from intimate parties to weekend getaways (Marrakech! Gstaad!) to special access at concerts, shows and festivals
  • MOBILE APP: A geolocation-based mobile app and trip planner which makes it easier than ever for members to meet and tap into local communities when travelling
  • COMMUNITY: Groups, organized for members by members, are based around common interests, such as art, music, literature etc.
  • TRAVEL CONTENT: ASW City Guides from members for members, updated daily by the ASW editorial team for the most current travel advice
  • THE ASW GLOBALIST: From road diaries and interviews with members, the online magazine, The ASW Globalist, is the only public part of our private community
  • WORK: Complimentary work spaces in New York and Berlin
  • CAR SERVICE: Complimentary airport pick up car service in Milan, London, New York and Paris

    And the of course the very best...

  • PARADISE: Complimentary one week stay with a guest at Kittitian Hill in the Caribbean

    ...and much much more!

The annual membership fee is available for payment in four currencies in the amount CHF 100, USD 105, GBP 70 or EUR 80. Based on your chosen currency, an additional CHF 5, USD 5, GBP 5 or EUR 5 will be added to the membership fee to be directed to the company's newly established charity arm, the ASMALLWORLD Foundation.

The foundation will partner up with projects addressing pressing issues in our world: global health, education, and the protection of children and women from exploitation and violence. After great consideration, the inaugural beneficiaries will be charity: water and New Light.

Founded in 2004 as an invite-only social network, ASMALLWORLD re-launched in the spring of 2013 as the leading travel and lifestyle club with an emphasis on events, privileges, and travel tips from the very best source: the well-traveled. ASW's membership is comprised of internationally minded people committed to opening their lives and passports to each other, ensuring that above all else, members can live like locals and feel at home wherever they go.

The company is headed by CEO and President Sabine Heller. Chairman of the Board Patrick Liotard-Vogt acquired the majority stake in the company in 2009 from former shareholder Harvey Weinstein.

Anuschka Senge
Director of Global Communications


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