Twiends Review: How buying Facebook fans ruins social proofby Daniel Snyder on May 16, 2011 • 6:14 am 64 Comments
A Twiends review for you today, taking a look at the ethics behind what most would call buying facebook fans. Twiends has now added a new feature, essentially the ability to buy fans for your facebook page. Twiends is a web service that offers to help you grow your social network by getting you more twitter followers, facebook fans, or views on your You Tube videos. The premise is simple, earn “seeds” by liking other FB pages, following people on twitter or watching You Tube videos. Spend your “seeds” when people ‘like’ your fanpage, follow you or watch your videos. The attraction is obvious it’s a quick and easy way to build some numbers and grow your social network.
Twiends equals 30 facebook fans in 3 minutes
I popped over to Twiends the other day at the recommendation of my good blogging friend Suresh who recently wrote an article “The Secret of how I got a custom facebook URL in under 15 minutes“. His post inspired me to check out Twiends yet again, though I’d heard of the service a long time ago I had quickly concluded that the quality of twitter followers one might gain from a service such as Twiends would be weak at best. Not being one to gravitate towards the model of buying followers or fans, I ignored Twiends at that time. Using a tool like that to ‘add’ so called targeted followers to your twitter account is not something I recommend, and I can testify that I’ve had great success with twitter without using methods like that. (Read up here about my twitter success without automation).
Just for fun I followed Suresh’s instructions signed up for Twiends and let the free seeds I had go to work on my facebook fan page. The ability to integrate with facebook and add likes to your fan pages is a new feature of Twiends, so I had to give it a go. Within 3 minutes (not an exaggeration) I gained 30 facebook fans, by the end of half an hour and a quick subscription to the Twiends newsletter (you get some free seeds for opting-in), I had another 30 new fans. Suresh’s article was RIGHT, if you are building out a new FB Fanpage this is a foolproof way to grab that important custom URL as soon as possible.
Twiends Review: “It might be fun but don’t be fooled.”
Gaining 60 Facebook fans without any real work in a matter of minutes felt nice for about half a second, then the fuzzy feelings wore off when I reminded myself that there was likely not one quality fan in the bunch. After all, these people were utilizing the service for the same reason I was, we were motivated by selfishness. It didn’t take long for my suspicions to be confirmed when several dozen of the new fans jumped ship by “unliking” my page. They had clearly just USED me for the seeds they gained for themselves (ugh! the audacity of some people, LOL). How does a service like this sustain itself? Twiends itself admits that it’s newest users utilize the service more (newest meaning members that are younger than 24 hours old). It sounds like people have fun with it for an hour or so, and then realize what poor value there is in the followers / fans gained and quickly drop off.
Twiends also sells seeds for those who really want to put some money into buying some fans. I would really advise against actually buying seeds. Twiends provides at the low end 1250 seeds for about $30.00 all the way up to 20,000 for $280.00. You can bet you’ll get a lot of facebook fans, but who knows how many will drop you just as quickly as they came. Would anyone even possibly suspect that these are potentially loyal fans who will engage you or become customers who convert into sales or subscribe to your newsletters?
Big Numbers equal Social Proof, or do they?
Twiends can’t really be called a community, I imagine the interaction that exists between members who are introduced on the site is pretty meager. For the most part users don’t really care about other users. If you are there, it’s for the sole selfish reason of gaining social numbers. Why? Big numbers equal social proof, or do they? Now with services like Twiends it becomes difficult to trust the numbers of any site. How many subscribers, facebook fans, twitter followers do you have? Really? Are they really following you? I’ve visited this issue before when I asked the question, Are you Twitter Followers REALLY following you?.
Twiends runs on the egos of those who want large follow counts and more facebook fans. While it is true that numbers aren’t everything, they do (did?) mean something. Artificially inflating them with services like Twiends doesn’t prove anything to anyone, rather it confuses the issue of social proof and makes all of us doubters.
If you actually LIKE this article, and you’re genuinely interested in this blog it would be great if you would LIKE us on facebook. Are you using Twiends? What do you think of the service? Share a brief personal Twiends review with us in the comments.