Nowadays almost anything can be monetized, as proved by Real Appeal's rental friends. Real Appeal is a service offered by the Japanese company Family Romance in which customers rent out "friends" for social media photoshoots. Rentals start at $71, a cost which gets you a single Real Appeal staff member for two hours. Customers also must pay for travel and other expenses, such as food and drinks. The rental friend can be customized, with options for age, gender and type of clothing.
It makes sense when you realize that a businessman trying to show off to his colleagues would want to be seen with someone of a similar age and appearance. In addition to faking friendship, Real Appeal also advertises itself as a way for jilted lovers to get a measure of revenge against their exes. While Real Appeal's rental friends service is odd it's not entirely unique. Companies in China (and undoubtedly elsewhere as well) have been known to rent stand-ins from Western countries for corporate events. Real Appeal's rental friends has taken that idea and modified it to fit today's social media-obsessed world.
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