Marketing on Facebook and Twitter is impossible without friends or followers, and those can often be hard to come by. But any brand having trouble attracting a social media audience can now buy friends, thanks to a service from ad firm uSocial.
The company is now offering brands 5,000 Facebook friends for 7.6 cents per friend ($654.30) or 10,000 Facebook fans for 8.5 cents each (a total of $1,167.30). In a press release announcing the service, uSocial says it targets friends to be added to a user's account based on industry, interest group, or geographic location, making it easier to market to the newfound flock. The friends are guaranteed within seven days.
It's unclear exactly what paying for friends will get you and whether these friends are actual consumers with purchase intent, or if uSocial is simply running a popularity-boosting scam. Facebook's terms of service prohibit users from being paid to add friends, and the social network is investigating uSocial's offering, according to Ad Age.
The company also sells Twitter followers (they're a bit pricier than Facebook friends), and explains on its website that not all of the followers you buy will be responsive customers. However, uSocial says many will become customers, and each follower is worth about 10 cents a month.