Turns out there may be something more pathetic than a person who spends all day on Facebook. And that's a guy who pays a company money to create a "virtual girlfriend" on Facebook to fool others into thinking he's a real playa. (Also see: Motorola Mobility buys cloud-based media streaming start-up) No one's sunk that low yet (as far as I know), but start-up Cloud Girlfriend thinks there's a market opportunity out there among the lonely and unspeakably desperate. According to ABCNews, for a currently undisclosed fee (the company's in pre-launch mode), Cloud Girlfriend will whip up a sham squeeze to "interact with you publicly on your favorite social network": "Cloudgirlfriend.com's tagline is, 'The easiest way to get a girlfriend is to already have one,'" the site's San Diego-based co-founder, David Fuhriman, said in an email. Or pretend you have one (wink wink) who is absolutely smokin'! I'm betting Fuhriman borrowed this idea from the Seinfeld episode where George walked around with a picture of a model in his wallet, giving him entrée into a secret Manhattan nightclub peopled exclusively by beautiful women. And all because George had a photo of his knockout "late" fiancee (who actually was Jerry's girlfriend, Jillian)! Lest you think Cloud Girlfriend is all artifice, Fuhriman assures ABC News that a "network of real people, not bots," will post all heartfelt, lovestruck messages to the Facebook walls of paying clients. Because having real people feign they're hot for you on Facebook is slightly less depressing than having some bot regale you with public pillow talk. Not that bots can't have feelings or be overcome with passion. There is some question whether Cloud Girlfriend violates Facebook's Terms of Service, which says only real people (and organizations) can create accounts. Hopefully that little loophole won't get in the way of true fake love.
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.