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Money can buy friends, love may be next

A company called uSocial has been offering a service that sells Twitter followers to people at a set rate. According to uSocial, a Twitter follower is worth ten cents to the buyer, though exactly how it comes by that number is unknown. Some companies can make money off Twitter as evidenced by Dell who attributes millions in sales directly to its Twitter followers.

USocial has now started to sell Facebook friends as well. Facebook Friends can be bought for varying amounts depending on how many you buy. To get 5,000 new Facebook friends will cost 7.6 cents per friend for a total of $654.30 while 10,000 Facebook fans will cost you 8.5 cents per fan for $1,167.30.

Adage quotes uSocial CEO Leon Hill from a statement, "Facebook is an extremely effective marketing tool, as anyone with a large number of targeted friends, or fans can attest to. The only problem is that it can be extremely difficult to achieve such a following, which is where we come in."

The buying and selling of Facebook friends seems dishonest to many and in fact, Facebook prohibits the building of a profile for commercial gain. Facebook says that it is currently looking at the uSocial service to determine whether or not to ban the service. USocial says that all it does is send friend requests on the behalf of the buyer and the receiver determines whether or not to accept the request.

Reuters quotes Hill saying, "All we do is send them a welcome message or friend request from the client. If they decide to go ahead and add that person as a friend or a fan then they will; if not, then they won't."

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math error
By maverick85wd on 9/3/2009 12:12:01 PM , Rating: 5
divide the number of dollars by the number of friends, not the other way around:

$654.30/5,000 friends = 13.1cents/friend
$1,167.30/10,000 friends = 11.7cents/friend

it doesn't make sense for 5,000 friends to be cheaper per friend (at 7.6 cents/friend) than 10,000 friends (at 8.5 cents/friend) when 654*2 > 1167. You've found out how many friends each dollar purchases ;-)

of course it goes without saying that anyone that would buy "online" friends for their social networking profile is a complete loser.

RE: math error
By maverick85wd on 9/3/2009 12:14:16 PM , Rating: 4
and I didn't even finish the article.

USocial says that all it does is send friend requests on the behalf of the buyer and the receiver determines whether or not to accept the request.

I hope facebook bans the service, I don't care to have random friend requests every time I log in.

RE: math error
By Oregonian2 on 9/3/2009 2:30:20 PM , Rating: 2
Like the friend request from Deepack somebody (in Texas and someone who I don't know) who keeps requesting friendship.

Or the requests I get on Skype who would like to provide someone for me to talk to when I'm lonely (and/or please vote for me at this web address....).

Sigh..... SPAM rulez! :-(

RE: math error
By fic2 on 9/3/2009 12:21:06 PM , Rating: 5
I did the quick 10,000 X $.085 = $850 in my head and figured the author flunked calculator 101.

RE: math error
By bhieb on 9/3/2009 1:18:30 PM , Rating: 2
of course it goes without saying that anyone that would buy "online" friends for their social networking profile is a complete loser.

Not supposed to have a commercial account, and having them are 2 different things. There are lots of artists, actors, comedians.... that have pages. Throwing $600 to get some direct advertising may not be the biggest waste of money. I think this service is aimed at them.

Your right though that if Susie Miss Popular just wants bragging rights, that is lame.

RE: math error
By Chernobyl68 on 9/3/2009 1:45:57 PM , Rating: 3
one is friends, one is fans.

RE: math error
By Alexstarfire on 9/3/2009 6:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
And the difference is.....

RE: math error
By gunzac21 on 9/4/2009 1:00:04 AM , Rating: 3
who needs people that respect and know you i.e. friends
mind slaves who adore you i.e. fans

RE: math error
By TGIM824 on 9/4/2009 8:09:52 AM , Rating: 2
And the difference is.....

Friends - you either request or are requested to be a friend, with a confirmation by the other party.

Fans - you just become a fan. No confirmation required.

Either way, if you want friends on Facebook, start playing mafia wars, farmville, or farm town, and send friend requests to the people how say "Add me" on the mafia wars, Farmville or farm town fan page. You will have more friends than you know what to do with, without spending a dime.

By acase on 9/3/2009 11:52:21 AM , Rating: 5

RE: wtf
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2009 12:20:25 PM , Rating: 5
I think the fact that this service became at all economically viable shows a) the free market works and b) there truly are an extremely high number of incredibly sad and pathetic people out there with no friends and too much money.

RE: wtf
By tastyratz on 9/3/2009 1:23:52 PM , Rating: 2

In relation to marketing that's actually fairly cheap for a targeted audience - actually very cheap. Look at how much companies pay websites per ad click. If you have a friend on facebook, you become a repeating station for profile content to that persons friends as long as they remain your friend. This also creates an association with that person "sally likes doc johnson toys so it must be a trusted name, I'm going to buy a doc johnson toy because I now have a person of reference"

While I don't agree with it and think they should be banned for its annoying spam, I still recognize the business as a successful marketing tool. The guy might get banned from facebook, but not before buying a couple porsches.

RE: wtf
By glennpratt on 9/3/2009 2:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
the free market works

Works for what?

To set a price on a glorified friend request macro? I guess we all define what works differently.

RE: wtf
By FITCamaro on 9/3/2009 5:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
No the fact that the service wouldn't exist if people weren't willing to pay for this. Demand creates supply.

RE: wtf
By Alexstarfire on 9/3/2009 6:16:52 PM , Rating: 2
That's not always true, in more ways than one.

RE: wtf
By HinderedHindsight on 9/3/2009 6:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
Demand creates supply.

Questionable logic at best. A good idea (when it comes to soft services such as marketing) might attract buyers, but this statement makes me ask: were people begging for a service which sends out friend requests on Facebook, and that's why this was created? Or was it created and potential buyers said "hey, that sounds like a good way to market what I'm selling"?

If anything, demand diminishes supply, rather than creates it. In fact, as we see particularly with luxury items, art work, and natural resources, demand encourages diminished supply in order artificially boost the price paid for products. And at some point, supply may potentially be exhausted as a result of demand (as we may soon see with certain natural resources). In real estate they say that "God only made so much dirt."

RE: wtf
By amanojaku on 9/3/2009 6:28:19 PM , Rating: 2
Demand creates supply.

Not true. If that was the case we would all have supermodel girlfriends who make millions a year and spend it on our PCs and game consoles. Also, porn wouldn't be necessary as it just isn't as dirty as that thing you do every time she invites her hot Hungarian friends over.

That, 50Mbit Internet at $30, and 64-bit apps.

RE: wtf
By JKflipflop98 on 9/3/2009 9:08:56 PM , Rating: 2
As much as I dispise FIT, he is kind of right. Demand usually creates supply. . . otherwise there wouldn't be 100+ tons of pot growing in Yellowstone.

RE: wtf
By glennpratt on 9/3/2009 7:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, basic economics "works" (though I doubt there was measurable demand prior to the release of this service), but is the service of any value to society? That's what I mean by works.

By Barfo on 9/3/2009 12:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
Retarded, and sad.

RE: ...
By Maxima2k2se on 9/3/2009 2:21:27 PM , Rating: 3
My thoughts exactly. I do not get these social networking sites. Not for me, but even if they were why in the hell would I pay to have friends? I just don't get it. Is it a status thing? Would I be seen as the kewl kid if I had 5 million facebook friends? WOW

RE: ...
By Jackattak on 9/3/2009 2:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
You did miss the point.

The point wasn't for you (i.e. a Facebook general user who uses it for socialization aspects) to pay for friends.

The point of this was for a business that has a Facebook fan page, such as Dell (taking the article's example) or perhaps your homegrown peanut farm's Facebook fan page, to purchase friends and fans for market presence and better visibility.

I.e. the more friends and fans you have, the larger your target audience, etc.

Hope that helps.

RE: ...
By kmmatney on 9/3/2009 3:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly - this has got to be for business or spam purposes - not personal use. Stuff to spam your Facebook wall with.

RE: ...
By RMSe17 on 9/3/2009 5:35:40 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, if they pay me to be their friend, by all means.. I will befriend every company out there :)

RE: ...
By MarkHark on 9/3/2009 6:03:34 PM , Rating: 2
At ten cents a piece?

Friend request spam!!
By HrilL on 9/3/2009 12:28:58 PM , Rating: 2
I thought this kind of thing would be against the Facebook terms. Why should they be allowed to profit by spamming people with friend requests?

Nothing good will come from this if they are allowed to do it. Maybe they'll be able to work out a profit sharing deal with Facebook and then who knows what will happen.

By vapore0n on 9/3/2009 12:35:56 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds stupid. Buy a "friend", or in other words a fake account just to have it on your list, so you can show off that big friend (fake)list.

"No one ever said the friend you bought would actually talk to you"

Feelings are cheap
By WoWCow on 9/3/2009 1:09:16 PM , Rating: 2
Facebook Friends can be bought for varying amounts depending on how many you buy. To get 5,000 new Facebook friends will cost 7.6 cents per friend for a total of $654.30 while 10,000 Facebook fans will cost you 8.5 cents per fan for $1,167.30.

Totally stupid just like when Ford valued customer lives at around 10,000$, (which they decided it was cheaper to have settle a lawsuit than to repair a faulty product).

Now some genius have come up with a way to annoy people and get paid at the same time.

For 10 cents now you can buy a friend that you never know and he/she can be your facebook buddy in the next 10 minutes!

Perhaps someone will start a facebook profile now and friend everyone they can until they can sell them out to the highest bidder!

By rdeegvainl on 9/3/2009 1:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
Now I can finally grow my mafia and not get beat up on the internet all the time! ;)

By Darthvoy on 9/3/2009 3:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not really all that surprised about this. I always saw the facebooks and myspaces as the most invasive forms of marketing tools for advertisers to use.

By Ristogod on 9/4/2009 9:05:06 AM , Rating: 2

My grandmother was wrong!
By MrWho on 9/4/2009 1:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
Whoever said that money can't buy you friends?

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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