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Bogus Friendster Users?

October 15, 2008

I don’t know what’s up with friendster.  I’ve never turned off my “who’s viewing my profile” feature.  It has worked really well for me – for getting back in touch with old friends and acquaintances.  Lately, however, there has been a rush of profile views, which I don’t think are valid profile views at all.

You see, there would be a bunch of these “people” who would appear to have viewed my profile.  I clicked on their profiles to see who they are – and a curious pattern began to emerge. All these “people” – men and women both – look fab, hot even; they have similar ages; they have similar profile layouts and, alas, same ads!!

Now, I’ve used the internet too long not to know about this trend.  I know that in YouTube and MySpace, there are those who pay companies and other people to increase their “profile views” and “media plays.”  The more profile views and media plays they have, the higher their ranking and the more valuable their space becomes to advertisers. If they already have ads in there, they still gain through page impression (they earn say, $1 per 1000 views).

I think the same thing is happening in Friendster.  Some brilliant internet advertising/marketing guru probably thought this up.  First, he prepared lots of Friendster user profiles, each with its own details and a picture of a really good-looking individual displayed.  Then he clicked profiles of real Friendster users; he probably used a bot for that.  Naturally, these Friendster users – after a “flood” of views – got curious, and they clicked on the “viewers’ profiles” to see who these unnaturally gorgeous people are.  And the internet marketing/advertising guru?  He watched his profile views – his hits – increase and his advertising income  rise.

Of course, what really bothers me is the fact that ads on user profiles are actually under Friendster’s control.  Do I surmise then that my imaginary internet marketing/advertising guru is Friendster’s very own – or, at the very least, acting with Friendster management’s permission?

Oh well, Friendster seems to be getting really spammy these days so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

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