Wanna be @the_real_shaq? That'll be $50,000...
If you're a nobody who wants to be somebody in the online Web world, you don't need friends -- just a thriving bank account. That's where uSocial comes into play. The company converts your cash into background support on the Web's top social sites: You can buy Diggs, votes on Yahoo Buzz, eyeballs for StumbleUpon . . . and now, Twitter followers.
Depending on your spending limits, you can invest anywhere from $87 to $3,479 to pick up 1,000 to 100,000 Twitter followers respectively. But don't assume that your fan base will turn over to six digits the second you click the "purchase" button. The company boasts that it can bump you up by a thousand fans within the course of seven days or, "we'll provide you with a further 20 percent at no charge." One hundred thousand followers is a bit more ambitious of a goal, and uSocial promises the results will occur within a year's time.
So where do these followers come from? Not uSocial's Twitter, that's for sure -- as of this article's writing, the company boasts only around 9000 followers itself (insert joke about "a taste of one's own medicine" here). BBC News has covered a bit on how the service actually works. To summarize, it appears that uSocial searches user interests to find relevant matches to whatever it is that you do, then asks said people to become your latest Twitter pal. Rinse, wash, repeat.
So just as long as you don't mind a bit of a delay, what would it cost you to reach the popularity of your favorite Twitter stars? Here's a list of how much you'd pony up to be your idols using the highest bracket of followers one can purchase through uSocial--you get a discount by purchasing large blocks of followers, after all.
@TheEllenShow: 2,291,923 followers, $80,017
@the_real_shaq : 1,516,149 followers, $52,185
@rainnwilson: 966,918 followers, $33,050
@willw (Wil Wheaton): 867,459 followers, $29,571
@trent_reznor: 650,567 followers, $22,613
@bobvilacom: 469,637 followers, $17,395
@stephencolbert: 293,891 followers, $10,437
@guykawaski: 144,129 followers, $5,272
@darthvader: 95,884 followers, $3,479
@WilliamShatner: 87,438 followers, $2,982
@alroker: 37,640 followers, $1,242
@marksanford: 4,226 followers, $321
David Murphy's meager 384 followers are worth a grand total of $33 on Twitter. Be his friend (and save his bank account) @acererak.