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."

"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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