Search Pinoy Tech Buzz

Monday, September 7, 2009

Selling friendships on Facebook for businesses

An Australian businessman accused of selling "friends" from the social networking site Facebook hit back Friday, saying it would be "very difficult" to stop him.

Facebook warned Thursday that members who bought information from the Australian online marketing company could be banned from the site.

Leon Hill, 24, who founded and owns, agreed that his customers could be breaching Facebook's terms of service -- but added that Facebook was almost powerless to stop him.

He said Facebook would be "well within their rights" to ban its members who accepted's offer but that it "would be almost impossible to track what we're doing."

Hill's Brisbane-based firm this week angered Facebook by offering to sell a user 1,000 friends for 177 US dollars and 5,000 friends -- the limit imposed by Facebook on a standard profile account -- for 654 dollars.

Facebook "fan" pages have no limits and said it could supply 1,000 Facebook fans for 177 dollars and 10,000 fans for 1,167 dollars.

Likening his service to a dating agency, Hill said his company manually scrolled through Facebook's millions of pages for users who had listed an interest in or already had links to a particular client's industry.

For example, he said they trawled Facebook on behalf of a dealer in performance car parts to find people with an interest in the automotive industry, who were then sent a friend request or fan suggestion.

"We don't manipulate accounts at all," he said. "We are targeting people for our clients but at the end of the day it's all up to the end user," he said.

Hill said his company did the same thing with microblogging site Twitter, which he said had tried unsuccessfully to stop its members using

"In the end the thing is that I'm not actually ever doing anything against the terms of service -- it's the actual users who purchases my services (who is)," he said.

"Unless they actually say anything, unless they make it known to Facebook or Twitter that they've actually bought my services, there's absolutely nothing they (Facebook or Twitter) can do."

No comments:

Post a Comment