“Invisible Girlfriend” Creates Both Girlfriends, Jobs (Sort Of)
Need to prove to nosy parents, bosses, coworkers, and Facebook friends that your romantic life is completely fine, regardless of your actual relationship status? There’s an app for that. Invisible Girlfriend is ready to provide you with pictures, personality details, and real-time texts from a fake significant other.
I first learned about Invisible Girlfriend on Valleywag, which helpfully informs us that “The guy who created it, Matthew Homann, won a startup competition in St. Louis back in 2013 with this idea.” (Which startup competition? What were the other entries?)
According to Valleywag, a fake girlfriend will cost you $25. To get your Invisible Girlfriend, simply sign up at — you guessed it — Invisible Girlfriend Dot Com. They’re looking for beta testers right now, as is their sister site (brother site?) Invisible Boyfriend.
The FAQ informs users that Invisible Girlfriend has serious and honorable motives:
Social media has mainstreamed the “relationship status” question. Today’s society, at least the coupled portion, doesn’t mind asking these pressing, super-personal questions of friends and coworkers. Are you LGBT? Deployed overseas? Focusing on a promotion? An Invisible Girlfriend can help you manage real-world distractions.
Also in the FAQ:
We get the sexting/naked pics question a lot, but there are currently no plans for offering these services at launch.
But here’s the really interesting part. Where are all these invisible girlfriends and boyfriends coming from? If you guessed “crowdsourced selfies,” you’re right! Submit your selfie here, but be aware that — as in many dysfunctional relationships — you might not get a lot in return:
Q: WILL I BE PAID FOR MY SELFIE?
A: Not for the first one. However, once someone selects your picture as their Invisible special someone, we’ll not only send you an “I’m Someone’s Invisible Girlfriend (or Boyfriend)” t-shirt, we’ll pay you for each additional selfie you submit.
Vallywag also notes that Invisible Girlfriend employs writers:
The work is not done by bots. There are real human beings on the other end, communicating with you, although the person writing to you will probably be different every time.
It is not clear whether these writers are Invisible Girlfriend team members or oDesk-style freelancers working for pennies (or worse, T-shirts), but we know in our hearts that if this isn’t a Gig Economy situation right now, it will be the minute this app starts to scale. (“Freelance writers needed to pretend to be significant other! Must have own phone and data plan. Payment: 5 cents per text.”)
Of course, the Hollywood ending to this story would be if a person actually falls in love with his Invisible Freelance Writer Girlfriend, and maybe he’s a super-rich dude who doesn’t have time for a “real” girlfriend becuase he’s Focusing On A Promotion, but they have these long text conversations where he feels like she’s looking into his very soul (and she’s trying desperately to make another 25 cents), and then they finally agree to meet, and he loves her and they get married and she never has to work for oDesk again. (It’s the Windfall Theory in action.)
Would you sign up for an Invisible Girlfriend? Would you submit a selfie? You do, after all, have the possiblity of getting a sweet T-shirt.
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