Friendship for sale: an Ebay example of what is Facebook worth

by Laurent François

Just imagine an Ebay profile named fidel and friends saying:

” i am bidding for your friendship. i like meeting new people. you can be my friend on facebook if you win this auction. you will get full access to my entire profile just like my other friends do. you can post to my wall, check my personal info, and chat with me, and the other things friends do on facebook. after the auction i will send you a request to be friends. it should also be noted that the above picture is not me. “

And guess what: the bid hasn’t reached 1 dollar yet (it finishes in 24 hours). So how comes someone’s friendship is more “valuable” than another?
I think you have to consider Facebook’s propagation model: it’s all about what you already own, and what you already are:

  • your schools
  • your culture
  • your communities
  • your career
  • your old buddies
  • the professional and personal meetings you do in real life

So basically, if I’m a tycoon, my address book is very valuable; if I come from nowhere, it is not valuable.

This example is pretty worrying and in the meantime reassuring:

  • worrying because Facebook implements de facto a world in which you are a value
  • reassuring because Facebook’s notion of friendship is not true friendship but networking

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