Any Facebookers out there feeling lonely?
A new start-up says it can create your perfect girl, as long as you tell it what you're looking for you. But don't expect to snuggle up with this mate because she's only going to be accessible via Facebook.
Still in pre-launch mode (the site says "coming soon"), Cloud Girlfriend claims to generate a virtual girlfriend who can 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.
For a fee (which the site has yet to disclose), the service provides a "network of real people, not bots" who post romantic messages and communicate with users on Facebook, Fuhriman said. But no one (besides the people involved in the faux fling) will be the wiser that the relationship isn't real.
"There will be no distinguishing features on social network profiles," he said. "[It] will appear as a real girlfriend. ... Just a long-distance friend."
For now, the site only offers female companions but, when asked about the lack of males, Fuhriman said, "Maybe there could be a boyfriend."
But, he emphasized, the point of the service is not to satisfy sexual desire.
"CloudGirlfriend.com is not a new virtual porn site or an adult chat service," he said. "Those services attempt to fill a physiological need, but it does not satisfy intimacy and friendship."
Instead, his site is intended to build its customers' self-esteem and confidence.
"They can use the site to jumpstart the process of changing social perceptions about themselves," he said. "This interaction can ... provide real training experiences in navigating a friendship and a relationship.
Even though the site has yet to open up to the public, the mysterious company has stirred up considerable buzz in the blogosphere and among potential users, who the site says should "register early to get in line."
But some tech blogs think the site might not even be able to get past the social network's Terms of Service, which prohibit Facebook accounts that don't belong to real people.
"If he's going to be toying with Facebook profiles to create fake girlfriends, we assume Facebook will hammer him," Business Insider said in a write-up of the new start-up. "Facebook doesn't want spammy accounts filling up the social network."
But Fuhriman said Cloud Girlfriend will not interfere with Facebook users' experiences on the site.
"We expect log-ins, time spent on site and page views to increase for people who are connected to a Cloud Girlfriend," he said.