Australian startup lets lonely people hire friends by the hour

Australian startup Friends for Hire lets friendless people hire other people to be their friend. The service is about to launch on March 22, according to iT Wire Co-founder Josh Blundell described the site to Business Insider: “It’s definitely not a dating website. It’s for people who are lonely, without the expectation that things will move beyond a platonic friendship. If anyone was found to be outside the terms of service, we would remove them from the site.”

If you’re a lonely Australian resident or just someone looking for a concert or hiking buddy, a new website could help pair you up with a real-life friend. Friends for Hire is set to launch on March 22. The idea behind the friend-finding service is to give terminally shy users the gift of IRL companionship on a night-by-night basis—or longer, if the chemistry is there. “Every member and friend [relationship] is going to be different, depending on what their needs are,” Josh Blundell, one of the site’s three co-creators, told WA Today. Users pay a weekly fee of $5 to access the site. The professional friends (I’m assuming that’s their title) can charge up to $60 per hour for friendship. According to WA Today, over 1,500 people have already pre-registered for the service.

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  • jiche

    I may sound cynical, but this one post a real danger to the “friendless” person by way of taking advantage of their vulnerabilities. If the founders could set up strict rules and policies to prevent this from happening, I must say this is an impressive idea.