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Want to Be an Invisible Girlfriend? St. Louis Startup Needs Selfies for Fake Relationships

Categories: Tech

selfies.jpg
The Bull Pen on Flickr
"Wouldn't you love to pretend to date us?"
Invisible Girlfriend wants your selfies.

The St. Louis startup, which made national headlines and $3,000 after winning a local startup competition in November, posted an ad on Craigslist looking for selfies for the company's database of fake-but-convincing girlfriends.

If you send in your selfie, Invisible Girlfriend will use it -- along with fake texts, gifts, voicemails and more -- to "prove" to the friends, family and coworkers of some far-away stranger that the two of you are in a relationship.

See also: Invisible Girlfriend: New St. Louis Tech Startup Promises Believable Fake Love

Matt Homann, the site's creator, says his team considered several other options for fake girlfriend photos, including stock photography or hiring models, before deciding to ask for donated selfies, which look more convincing. There's no compensation for the first round of women who'll be the literal face of the business, but Homann says that could change.

"We're not paying for the first round, but it's definitely in our business model," Homann tells Daily RFT. "This first pass of these is a bit of an experiment to see how many people are interested in helping us out. If someone gets selected, we'd love more from them, if possible."

He imagines a team of "contributors," or women who get paid to regularly upload real-looking photos for Invisible Girlfriend to send to clients.

In a uniquely strange Craigslist ad, Invisible Girlfriend solicited selfies from adult women under 45 years old from all backgrounds and all ethnicities.

"If you send us a picture of yourself and we decide to use it, congratulations: you'll be one of [the] first Invisible Girlfriends that's ever existed," the site's builders say in the ad.

selfietellow.jpg
Infomastern on Flickr
"Our relationship is totally fake!"
Eventually, Homann may need selfies from men, too. Invisible Girlfriend is getting all the media attention, he says, but "Invisible Boyfriend is on the way."

Invisible Girlfriend plans to launch in beta mode in August and will be open to anyone who wants a fake girlfriend. Homann says both Invisible Girlfriend and Invisible Boyfriend will be LGBTQ friendly.

"It doesn't make any difference to us where they fit and how they identify from a gender standpoint," Homann asys. "Our goal and hope is that people find the service useful, that as many can use it as possible."

To submit a selfie, just reply to the Craigslist ad with a photo of yourself holding a sign that says "Invisible Girlfriend" on it; that's how Homann knows you're consenting to have your photo used in his service.

(Editor's note: The Riverfront Times does not own or operate Invisible Girlfriend. Please do not send us your selfies. To submit a photo, respond to the Craigslist ad.)

Also include a nearby ZIP code, so the site can avoid using your image near where you live. Homann says he's been surprised at the zealous international demand for Invisible Girlfriend, so your selfie could end up anywhere in the world.

Invisible Girlfriend's prototype includes three pricing plans: "Just Talking" for $9.99 per month, "Getting Serious" for $29.99 per month and "Almost Engaged" for a whopping $49.99 per month. The most expensive package includes SMS texts from a robot, an emergency interaction button, random gifts and notes sent to home or work, real voicemails, a coupled relationship status on Facebook and live phone calls.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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25 comments
Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Someone (who isn't using their phone) should report that ass's racist comment.

Zac Nevill
Zac Nevill

Bob your comment makes you sound like the biggest retard in Missouri

Kira Baulesh
Kira Baulesh

Bob Stclair, you're the biggest, ugliest fool I've seen in a while. Do us a favor and fuck off you racist, worthless shit.

Heather Louis
Heather Louis

How sad. Couldn't this be potentially dangerous? If someone is lonely enough to pay for a fake relationship, could that person also become emotionally attached to the people in the images? Just sounds like you're asking for a stalker.

Eerie Geller
Eerie Geller

ERNEST TAKES A SELFIE. ..pm me for a script copy

Fallon Lott
Fallon Lott

This makes me sad. Feeding on people's loneliness and insecurities... and what do you get out of it? A picture and a drained bank account :/ sad...

Kevin Vance
Kevin Vance

There's way too many losers out here

Paige Rain Moofin Bitzer
Paige Rain Moofin Bitzer

Thats so weird. Seriously are there that many ppl uncomfortable with themselves they fake relationships to get approval from others?

Kirin Pax
Kirin Pax

I don't understand who would use this?

Bill Long
Bill Long

I am a hire a hippie fake BF.. for a fee..

Cody Kreitner
Cody Kreitner

If nothing else.. It's interesting, like a pen pal to be fake in love with... hmm

Deb Woods
Deb Woods

It is so sad that this is what people want out of life - fake relationships. Who is this for? People on the down-low who want to convince Mom grandkids ARE forthcoming??!

Favi Moreno
Favi Moreno

Vanessa Ortiz Kim Laub you guys are famous lol

Nat M. Zorach
Nat M. Zorach

i can't believe that people would actually spend money on this

Jennifer Ray
Jennifer Ray

It could be the most satisfying relationship I've ever had.

Randi Cory
Randi Cory

Strange and interesting at the same time.

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