A View from Christopher Mims
Cloud Girlfriend Gets a Launch Date, Announces New Price: Free
The latest missive from the CEO of the enigmatic fake girlfriend site raises more questions than it answers – all of which should be answered by April 26
Cloud Girlfriend, the Facebook-enabled fake girlfriend service that I can’t stop covering for some reason, has added another wrinkle or 10 to its enigmatic inner workings: it will be free. And it will launch on April 26.
That’s what the CEO of CloudGirlfriend says, in the strangest of his missives yet to be released to journalists. Let’s break it down.
Cloud Girlfriend will use real people, but they won’t be women in foreign countries who are running multiple fake profiles, all of which would be violations of Facebook’s terms of service. If I’m reading this correctly:
What a lot of media have written regarding cloudgirlfriend.com does not reflect the service that we are able to build. I think someone could create fake profiles on Facebook on a small scale. With a lot of publicity in the US and international media, there are insurmountable problems. Language, culture, attention, TOA, offering cloud boyfriends, privacy, etc…
Cloud Girlfriend will not, as previously indicated, post to your wall. But she’ll have a page, or… something.
Q: Does the girlfriend have her own Facebook page and can the subscribers friends friend her and interact with her?
A: If the users want to they can.
Cloud Girlfriend will fulfill your wildest fantasies!
What we are creating blurs the lines between reality and imagination. We allow people to define their ideal self, find their perfect girlfriend or boyfriend and connect and interact as if that person existed.
Cloud Girlfriend is based on some kind of new-age mysticism that only its creators can fully comprehend. It’s a variant on The Secret: if you wish hard enough for a perfect girlfriend, voila.
There is a great talk given at TED by Eric Mead, “The Magic of the Placebo”. He discusses how there are various effects to different placebos. He also demonstrates that even though we know something is not real, our reaction is real. There are real things that we as a society can do to improve ourselves, even though we know that they are not real.
Cloud Girlfriend’s core audience are people who read The Game and/or are 12 years old.
For starters, it can be just a fun game for people to play. It can also help in learning how to manage a relationship. Like the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect”. The site can help people come together and practice managing a real relationship- and then take it into the real world.
Cloud Girlfriend is here for you.
Q: What are the kinds of things will she say?
A: They will be managed by real people, so it will be up to the user.
Cloud Girlfriend will probably have unnatural proportions.
Q: Can you choose what your girlfriend looks like?
A: You will be able to select from profiles created by other users.
A whole harem of Cloud Girlfriends: Why not?
Q: Can you have more than one?
A: Yes. No extra cost.
Facebook is totally OK with Cloud Girlfriend, says the CEO of Cloud Girlfriend, but I’m kind of doubting anyone has actually asked them:
Q: Any opposition from Facebook? Do you need to clear hurdles with that company?
A: We explained the direction we are taking and that we are complying with their terms of service.
And, finally, here is the question that made me suspect that Cloud Girlfriend could be vaporware. This is some serious over-promising:
Q: Can you have your photos digitally composited so it looks like you’re together?
A: Working on the functionality. Augmented reality is making some awesome leaps.
That doesn’t sound like any kind of Augmented Reality I’ve ever covered.
But check back on the 26th of April. At this rate, I’ll probably be live-blogging the launch…