Social Networking Gone Too Far

I have always considered Facebook as the primary social network.  You can manage photos like Flickr, you can post updates like Twitter, you can show off your cliched profile pictures like MySpace, you can sell things like eBay, and now with Facebook apps, you can add music to your page, embed RSS feeds and play games.

Since all these things are combined into one site, I (and most others, I believe) consider Facebook to be the more private network – for real friends only.  Sure, some people make it their job to collect friends, but for the most part, clicking “Friend Request” is an exciting action that is reserved for people you know – or at least people you have interacted with.

If someone likes the website, I’ll accept their request.  If I’ve emailed back and forth with the author of a favorite blog of mine, I might try and add him/her on Facebook.  Thanks to uSocial, however, all of this is changing.  Well, at least they want it to.

uSocial is a unique advertising service that sells Facebook friends and Twitter followers.  You heard me right.   For around $177, you can ensure yourself 1,000 new Facebook friends (the same prices apply to Facebook Fan Pages).  For $87, you can buy 1,000 Twitter followers.  Plans for both services can cost you as much as $11,000.  Why would anyone pay for friends?  Good question.

friends

Ideally, this service would appeal to businesses and professionals trying to market their services on these fast growing social networking sites.  However, until I see statistics on the amount of friends and followers who want to reach into their pocket and pay for your product because they are your online friend, I’m not buying it.  Why not simply pay for targeted advertising on Facebook?  It can be significantly cheaper, and it ensures that the friends and fans you get will be…well…friends and fans!

“So, how did we do this quarter, Jim?”

“Well sir, we have over 5,000 fans on Facebook!”

“Wonderful!  Now how does that income statement look?  Oh, and what’s this $650 charge?”

“Unimportant.”

To sum up, social networking has brought us around to the point that people are literally paying for friends.  Lovely.

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