…or How To Make Friends Completely Fail to Influence People.
So you’ve got that shiny new social networking account, but your “network” currently consists of you and two people from your office. Neither of whom you like.
But there is a shortcut to untold friend riches. A soulless, morally questionable shortcut.
Disclaimer: The methods and programs which follow are in no way condoned by the author. They quite possibly contravene both the terms of service and ethical conduct codes of every known social networking site. Not only that, but they are involved in spamming, profile hijacking and selling tainted rice to Third World children. Actually, I made that last one up, but you get the idea.
If you’ve taken time to explore the worlds of Myspace, Facebook, Bebo and Twitter, you will no doubt have noticed one very important thing – you have remarkably few friends. I use ‘friends’ of course in the loosest possible sense of the word; altering the dictionary definition to ‘people whose picture you vaguely recognise’. When it comes to social networking, friends are not the people with whom you share a glass of wine at the weekend; they are the assorted faces that appear on your profile when you login. They are a virtual Christmas card list; avatars and snapshots from around the world who agree to receive your bulletins, pokes and blogs in return for bombarding you with their own. The sad thing is that on your welcome page, there are only six of them. And one of them is Tom.
But hang on. During your travels, you will have no doubt noticed that profile that with hundreds of thousands of friends – and in all likelihood, it’s not a band or a TV show, but an eighteen year old girl from Wisconsin with bad eyeliner and a cavernous cleavage. You would be forgiven for assuming that with a large chest and loose morals, perhaps such a teenage hussy built up her a friend mountain through studious use of the space behind the bikesheds; turning tricks for the currency of kudos. But then how is it that a person that popular has to take her own picture; arm stretched out to its full length, face grimacing at the build up of lactic acid?
The answer to this question lies with automated friend adders; programs which circumvent the need to actually go out and meet people the old fashioned way, forging friendships through conversation and mutual interests. It skips the whole part where you actually ask somebody their name, bypasses the need for common ground, personality or taste, and even fails to discriminate on the language which you speak. Automated friend adders can make even the most unpopular of people look like the hub of a social empire; affording them the importance and status that goes with having a Myspace page that looks like an Emo version of ‘Who’s Who?’.
It may seem a childish pursuit, collecting friends like so many bad pennies in an oversized whisky bottle, but nowadays, with the importance of social networking as a marketing tool, a big friends list is a valuable commodity. It can provide a ready made audience for promotional material, or a wealth of interests, contact and personal information. It is the equivalent of a spam mailing list, but without the threat of fines or prison time. Of course, it could just be that in your desire for followers, you simply want to form a cult, but have an aversion to armed sieges, nerve gas and the Tokyo underground. I won’t make any judgements; I simply ask that you save a space on the planet Zarg for the rest of us. Whatever the reason, automated friend adders offer a fast track solution to achieving the friends list of your dreams.
Friendstorm: MySpace Friend Adder
Friendstorm is the original automated friend-finder, launched at a time when Myspace was king of all that networked socially. By entering your unique ID, you agree to have it passed on to all and sundry, inviting them in droves to your friends list, like some kind of friend…storm. Whilst being free, and successful, it is also quite possibly the most annoying thing ever. Ten minutes after registration, you will have an inbox full of spam requests. Oh to be unpopular again. The main problem with Friendstorm is that there is no way to specify who you want to be friends with – the whole thing is like a tickertape parade with your phone number on every piece of confetti. Unfortunately, the only people at that parade are bands, rappers and divas who should have hung up their microphones long before now. Whatever your motivation is, you have to understand that there are a lot of talentless people having a very public mid-life crisis on social networks.
FollowersPlus: Twitter Friend Adder
Enter your ID and password into this avian-themed site, and you will soon find yourself with more feathered followers than a baker with a broken basket. If your aim is to have a high followers count, followersplus may seem like the ideal solution – but make sure that you read the small print. Two very important points of note are that 1) by using the service, you agree to follow all VIP members, and 2) that followersplus will use your account to send out promotional tweets every four hours. Whilst your friend count may look healthy, you may find that your inbox is as appealing as a bout of bird flu. It can also get rather tiring for your real followers, seeing your grinning face against an advert for the site six times a day.
Friend Adder Elite: Facebook/Bebo Friend Adder
For Facebook and Bebo, it would appear that a simple web based script will not suffice. The only known adders for these sites appear to involve downloading an executable file – risky, if not downright stupid. This may in part explain why those platforms appear unsullied by monstrous friends lists, at least for now. Another reason for this is that these two sites tend to have ‘real’ profiles; people with actual names, rather than thinly veiled descriptions of their sexual organs. This means that the friends lists on there seem to be cyber equivalents of users real life address books. Still, the lack of automated adders for these platforms is interesting, because that genuine information contained on peoples profiles is perhaps the most valuable commodity on all of the social networking sites.
In conclusion, friend adders are great for those with bruised egos, work to spam, or just those who long to be the next David Koresh. Unfortunately, for the rest of us, they are problematic, non-customisable and a right royal pain in the backside. Still, it doesn’t stop thousands of people signing up to them every day…
If you liked this article, you may want to read more about my exploits social networking here.