In general, having as big an audience as possible for a company is a good thing. In the movie business, having a film that hits “all four quadrants,” meaning it appeals to young men, adult men, young women, and adult women, is a recipe for big box office success. If everyone can enjoy something, it means its creators will likely rake in the cash. But in the crowded field of social networks, it’s hard for a startup to break through and reach all four of those quadrants. Luluvise, a startup social media site created by Alexandra Chong that went online publicly today, has decided to go in another direction. Luluvise’s policy: no boys allowed.
Luluvise’s motto is “Girl time all the time,” and any man that tries to connect to the site via Facebook - the only way to register for Luluvise - is automatically turned down. Chong told TechCrunch that “We had a lot of guys submitting their emails to get access to the beta, and we must have sent out over 500 emails telling them Luluvise is for ladies only.” With the known security blanket of only having girls reading the posts on the site, Luluvise’s ladies can take pictures of guys they’ve gone out with and have people comment, review other guys on individual pages for each guy, post polls about different topics, and add tags like ‘OMG!’ and ‘SOS’ to updates.
As a guy, I have a feeling that if the roles were reversed, and a site launched where guys could talk about what women they thought were hot and could rank them and talk about them behind their backs, the backlash would be immense. This sounds an awful lot like the Burn Book in Mean Girls. I have trouble imagining women being okay with guys ranking them in categories, like if they’re “good in bed,” which women can actually do on Luluvise.
But on the other hand, this could be an intelligent way to make a name in such a crowded field. As Fueled wrote about in August, some of the most successful online dating websites, another area where there is lots of competition, are the ones that appeal to a specific demographic and don’t try to cater to the general population. JDate, a renowned dating site specifically for Jewish people, came out with a study in June that said, among other things, that 76-percent of Jewish people that have used an online dating site used JDate since 2008. With the amount of dating sites available (Meet-an-Inmate was a personal favorite from my research, just for the lead picture alone), being able to corner a part of the market with such dominance is an amazing accomplishment.
The pool of social media users is so big that if one site can conquer even a small section of that pool it will succeed. So many people use sites like Facebook and Twitter that Luluvise can completely ignore half of their potential customers and still cater to a massive audience. If Luluvise can entice women to join the site just by shutting out men, and giving them the freedom to speak their minds without other guys eavesdropping, they won’t regret the decision.