The walled garden
A recent NYT article unearthed the brains behind what they call an Illuminati Tinder, a dating app for the rich, famous and interesting. Originally a curated community for creatives and free-thinkers, it's now a velvet rope for A-listers, movie stars and sporting royalty.
I recommend the read.
The greatest piece of insight, however, was in the author's summary:
It’s hard to remember now, but there was a time in which niche interest groups were exclusive and self-moderating. The nerds had their subreddits and Metafilter threads, the artists had their zines and Tumblrs, the 9/11 truthers had their email lists and subway pamphlets.
Then social media companies came along, broke up the clubs and forced all the gamers and sports fans and Instant Pot moms and neo-Nazis onto the same three apps, then acted surprised when nobody got along.
I genuinely had a moment of pause. In product development, we often aim for endless up-and-to-the-right growth as we users what they want. But perhaps, it's time for us to ask users who they don't want.