Friends-for-hire offered in Japan for social media image boost
For many people these days, their lives revolve around social media. For some people in Japan, keeping up appearances has become so crucial that a company is offering friends-for-hire to pose with clients in selfies.
The company is called Family Romance and their service is called Real Appeal. For a fee, they can dispatch staff members to pose and take photos with customers in a festive setting for later sharing on social media, reports RocketNews24.
Requesting a staff member is not limited to just one. For a greater boost to one’s online ego, more staff members can be hired for a merrier group photo. Clients are free to request for staff members of a certain age, gender, or any other visual characteristic, with the final selection done based on the photos of available Family Romance employees.
Real Appeal can also be used for getting back at the ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. A Family Romance staff can pose as the new significant other to show that the client has moved on and is having the time of his or her life.
The catch, however, is that friends-for-hire are not cheap at 8,000 yen (roughly P3,500) for two hours.
One satisfied customer said in a testimony posted on the official website that he hired ten staff members to celebrate his birthday with him at a fancy hotel:
“I requested ten Family Romance staff members [to] pose as my friends, and we held a birthday party for me at a famous hotel in Tokyo, having a few drinks at the bar with a beautiful view of the nighttime skyline. After that, we went to my room to drink some more, they presented me with a big cake, and I took lots of selfies LOL I’ve been bust lately, so it was a fun time, and I was able to share some good photos on Facebook and Twitter. [translated by RocketNews24]”
For some, the idea of hiring people just for good Facebook, Twitter or Instagram selfies may seem strange. However, it appears that there may indeed be some serious social needs being addressed and temporarily sated if companies like Family Romance is generating income from their services. In any case, if you have the extra cash and is curious or lonely enough, it may be worth the try. Alfred Bayle/JB