Sounds like a Saturday Night Live parody commercial, but it’s all true. uSocial.net is a marketing company that sells blocks of Facebook fans. They charge $197 for 1,000 fans and they guarantee that they’ll be targeted fans who will never desert you. Pretty sweet deal for those who can’t get a date on their own, don’t you think? Apparently, quite a few people think so and they aren’t just companies looking to boost numbers.
“Very soon after launching, we found there were a significant number of regular people buying friends on Facebook who didn’t seem to be doing this for any real purpose,” said uSocial.net’s CEO, Leon Hill.
“Rather surprisingly to us, we soon found a large portion of these people were in a situation where they were simply lonely online and wanted more people to talk to,” Hill continued. “In short, they were literally buying friends so they had someone with similar interests to make an emotional connection with online.”
In a recent press release, Hill goes on to say that a few of the buyers have been soldiers who just wanted a slice of normal in their lives. Hill calls it “sweet.” I call it sad, or worse. It’s like some form of friendship prostitution.
Makes you wonder what other marketing services individuals might be taking advantage of. Buying email lists to use for their Christmas card mailings (surely at least a few people will reciprocate even if they don’t know you), maybe hire a copywriter to write better pick-up lines. For that matter, why not get an advertising company to develop an image campaign so you can hook the girl of your dreams.
It’s a tough economy and even marketing companies can’t afford to turn down business, even if the guy is looking for a focus group to stand in as guests for his next birthday party.