FriendsForSale – Facebook Addiction Again

FriendsOnSaleFirst there was Scrabulous, more recently Packrat, and now? FriendsForSale. You read the right, Friends For Sale. Go figure that would be popular. What it amounts to is you can ‘purchase’ your friends for game dollars.

Each of your friends that’s never been purchased starts out at the same price. As a person’s persona is purchased, the value goes up. The increments are fairly small at first, but quickly escalate.

Purchasing a person is not a straight buy either. There is a markup factor as well as profit for the current owner. Also, the person being purchased receives a little bit of game cash. This results in those being purchased frequently acquiring a good bit more cash than those that receive few or no purchases. Purchases can be made of unowned personas as well as those owned by others.

Basic play aside there are a couple of camps of folks involved in this game. Those that see it as demeaning, and those that just see it as fun. The demeaning side can be seen in how a person is bought and sold, as some would say, like a piece of garbage sale junk. Even others in that camp just see the game as another way to feed on the cliques and elitism they see happening in social networks and social media across the board.

On the flip side, those just in it for the fun do have a few interesting takes on it. Some treat it like a trading card game, with each trade being more like stealing away someones best rookie card. Some take the fun into more risque things, playing up on the innuendo of ‘owning’ someone. And of course there’s the crowd that just finds it another cute game to play with friends.

The truth, in my opinion, is that neither side is all the way wrong. Elitism is hard at play in this game in a way, but more of elitist worship. It’s the groupie effect. Persons like Robert Scoble and Jeff Pulver bring the most cash for purchase. Yet ostensibly, neither plays the game themselves. But because of hero worship, the one who owns becomes envied. Now is this all bad? Not really, it’s definitely a parallel to collecting trading cards.

Trading cards have value based on how famous the player on the card is, and how hard the card is to get a copy of, and finally, what sentimental value there is. Friends For Sale’s economy behaves the same way essentially, with social media rockstars being generally the most valued cards as it were. However, like in trading card collection, there are a wealth of those collecting their personal friends over the rockstars.

Unlike in collecting trading cards though, there’s one big difference. Any player can buy your cards right out from under you in FriendsForSale. All they need is enough game dollars. This can make the game frustrating to participate in, especially when you play with your friends.

My thoughts on it? If you have time to play more games, this one is a low involvement game, with no clear winners or losers, and the game bucks are free every 4 hours. There are definitely worse games and applications on Facebook.

If you don’t have time for more Facebook games, why the heck did you read this far?

Go, buy your friends, and steal my cards. I dare you!


11 Responses to “FriendsForSale – Facebook Addiction Again”

  1. 1 Mike Neumann April 1, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    I think it’s all good fun among friends. It gets creepy sometimes, especially for the ladies, when some random dude ‘buys you’. I’ve intervened in one of those and he ‘went away’. Still, it’s all good fun, and leads to good smack talk on Twitter and a few cows or other farm animals being tossed via my other favorite silly app on FaceBook – SuperPoke. SuperPoke, Friends For Sale, Owned! – all good fun, when done between friends and in the spirit of just good ole’ fashioned FUN. 🙂

  2. 2 tojosan April 2, 2008 at 7:22 am


    Thanks for chiming in! SuperPoke is one of those apps too that you either hate or enjoy having around. There are just so many of these type apps though, it can get annoying.

  3. 3 AnnOhio April 2, 2008 at 7:23 am

    I had no clue that I was in the middle of a bidding war on Friends for Sale until someone messaged me and said do you know what I just paid for you? I was a bit shocked at first, but now I’ve joined in the good natured fun…I get a kick out of it when someone *steals* away a recent purchase. It gives me a giggle and as always my Twitter buds find ways to have a little fun.

  4. 4 tojosan April 2, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    That’s how I found out about it too. People buying me and me wondering what the heck was going on. Did you get the 10K bonus?

  5. 5 Shawn K April 3, 2008 at 9:49 am

    I hadn’t equated it to trading cards, but maybe that’s why I like it so much. It’s similar to my basketball card collection, but I don’t have to spend any real money to do it. I won’t lie, I’m a ‘Friends for Sale’ junkie. Facebook must love it too, as I now visit the site multiple times a day instead of a few times a week. Great analogy.

    Twitter @thattalldude

  6. 6 Dayngr April 3, 2008 at 9:52 am

    I think it is all great fun and totally harmless. I get a kick out of going back and forth with friends buy and selling them and their “pets”. It’s been plain old silliness and a great way to get a chuckle in the middle of an otherwise long and stressful day. I always find it interesting to see who would actually be interested in buying me. I absolutely love that you can nickname your friends after you buy them. I wish there were a record of all the nicknames people were given because some of them are just hilarious.

    Did you know that you can’t “buy” someone with the Friends for Sale app. if they aren’t already listed as your friend on Facebbok. For that app it at least saves people from being bought by random people.

    Great article. You always have your finger on the pulse of what’s hot!

  7. 7 Hooeyspewer April 3, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Nice post, Todd. Friends for Sale is just harmless fun. I do have to say, though, that once, someone who is not my friend on Facebook (or anywhere else for that matter) did buy me on the application. Supposedly, my picture came up on the “Random” tab. When my friends managed to purchase me away (repeatedly) this person repeatedly re-purchased me. I got a bit creeped out as I did not know this person nor did this person leave a message on my wall in the application. With a little intervention from pals, he stopped re-buying me. As a result, I changed my privacy settings on Facebook and now the only people who can ever even find me in search have to be at least friends of friends. Hopefully, I won’t be showing up on the “Random” page anymore.

  8. 8 tojosan April 3, 2008 at 10:52 am


    So glad you like the analogy. I think that’s why I enjoy it too.

    I agree. It’s silliness and good for a laugh. I dig the nicknames too, though I could be more creative with mine. Thanks fro coming by.

    Thanks for the comment. I understand about the creepiness thing. So far no weird folks I don’t know have purchased me. Ha. The good thing is that repeated repurchasing is a loosing proposition. The cost rises faster than the payouts.

    Thanks everyone for the comments.

  9. 9 Kathy Jacobs April 3, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    I admit it, I am caught on this game. Not as much as Scrabulous or PackRat, but more than I really should be. I really like the baseball card analogy – it is quite close to how I look at my purchases.

    Another of these games that has nabbed me lately is Lil Green Patch. Here you help others keep their garden going and raise money to save the rainforest at the same time. Having fun, helping others and being environmentally friendly – What could be closer to my life’s desires?

  10. 10 Licentious April 3, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Hey Tojo,

    Don’t forget the competitive fun when two guys fight over the same woman! And I’m not talking about AnnOhio. Not a bit. No sir.


  11. 11 tojosan April 3, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    I’m going to write a little piece on Lil Green Patch as well. I’m curious how the save the rain forest thing actually works. It says I’ve saved 9 or 10 square feet now.

    No, not us, in a bidding war over someone, like but not @AnnOhio!

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