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Type Private
Key people Christian Leifeld, Malte Zeeck, Philipp von Plato
Type of site Social network service
Registration invitation-based
Available in English
Launched September 2007 is an international social network service, launched as a Web 2.0 website in its Beta version on September 11, 2007 and designed with expatriates in mind. Through this online platform people living and working abroad, their partners and others with a strong interest in international relations and international business can interact through forums, newsgroups, a private messaging service and various common features of online networks. This ‘infotainment’ combination of a virtual community with an expat-specific focus on issues like relocation and expat housing, foreign affairs and expatriate institutions makes it a unique addition to the number of social networking sites on the Net. [1] On the one hand, it is a professional network like LinkedIn or Xing; there is, however, a greater focus on socializing and leisure, yet with a certain distinction from purely “fun” networks catering to a young audience in their teens or early twenties, such as Facebook and My Space.

In early April 2009, the young start-up company reached a member base of approximately 100.000 users from over 230 local InterNations communities worldwide. They talk about their experience in living abroad, help each other with typical problems and find new business partners or friends. A user-generated guide for every local community features restaurants, clubs, expat institutions, health-care and everything else the members might be looking for. In "offline life", InterNations members have the opportunity of meeting at InterNations get-togethers. Currently members are meeting at monthly events in approximately 100 cities.

The idea

The website was founded by three young German businessmen, Christian Leifeld, Philipp von Plato, and Malte Zeeck, two former McKinsey consultants and an n-tv editor. [2] They had come to recognize the need for a global online network for expatriates when they were living abroad themselves. [3]. So they decided to come up with a web-based dot-com solution to address issues like relocation, intercultural competence, cross-cultural communications and everyday life as an expat.

The intention

“Connecting Global Minds” is the motto of InterNations. The term global mind refers to individuals with an international mindset, a multicultural background, or a place of residence in a location other than their home country. They often work abroad for trans- or multinational corporations, go on frequent business trips, form part of their native country’s diplomatic service, provide foreign aid in developing countries, work for intergovernmental organizations, non governmental organizations, as foreign correspondents, have expats as partners, or simply show a huge interest in different cultures. [4] This particular member base also differentiates InterNations from other social networks.

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