An Australian based marketing company is hoping to take the pain out of getting Facebook friends by offering businesses the opportunity to buy them. uSocial is a service that allows businesses, celebrities and other individuals looking to expand their name/brand on Facebook by purchasing friend lists. For $200 you can purchase 1,000 new friends, for 5,000 friends (the maximum) uSocial charges $727. The service is also set up to help companies accumulate fans, by searching out people who express interest in liking a certain person, business or idea on the site.
As expected Facebook is not happy about this, but businesses have been flocking to uSocial because they know how powerful, quick and cheap social media sites can be for building interest and buzz. uSocial works by logging into a client’s Facebook profile (or they create a new one) and it seeks out people who would be a good fit, then sends them friend requests tailored to that business. The process for gaining fans is similar except uSocial doesn’t need to log-in to the client’s account. Since everything is done manually, uSocial feels that they aren’t doing anything wrong and that they are not “spamming” Facebook. uSocial does not offer anything to people who accept the friend requests, therefore weeding out people who might only accept the request for a freebie.
Facebook is investigating the company and says that the uSocial practices of getting someone else’s password, logging in as them and then friending on behalf of the third-party violate’s their terms of service. But uSocial has also done business with Twitter and Digg and so they say the way their practice is set up does not violate any rules.
What do our readers think? Is this something you would use for your company? How do you feel about uSocial contacting you via your personal page?
For the full article about uSocial and their Facebook plans, go to: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/hotsites/2009-09-03-sell-facebook-friends_N.htm