Selling your Social Networking or Social Bookmarking account

(by a guest writer)

Ethical or unethical? This page isn't a moral judgement. Suffice to say that the biggest companies in the game trade social networkers. Netscape once offered top Diggers huge sums of money to move over to their own social bookmarking site.

Power Networkers regularly sell accounts even though many Social Network communities do not allow this.  The most blatant type of trade is with MySpace accounts.  Whether it's on Craigslist or webmaster forums, the ad usually boasts the number of friends and how long the account has been active. But Myspace isn't the only culprit, there are Facebook Bebo and other profiles available for purchase. And these trades are exceeded in volume only by those for social bookmarking accounts.

If you are good at building relationships through communities, account selling is a really easy method to make you some money.  It doesn't take long to build a large "friend" list at an SN site and, if running multiple accounts, can generate a steady income.  (Note: There are also several programs that offer to drive up the number of friends you have. Use them at your own risk)

Account terminations

Note that social media sites do often terminate accounts. Multiple accounts from one IP may raise some flags and get an otherwise good standing account deleted. Note also that many of the social bookmarking and networking sites don't play softball. There's usually no warning, no polite cease and desist, no email to tip you off.

Why buy an account?

If you are wondering why someone would be willing to pay for accounts, the answer is simple: promotion.

With the cost of email marketing lists on the rise, social sites are a very cost effective way to get a list of people to market to, or get a story/site a lot of visitors. 

Do professional, big name marketing companies buy MySpace accounts? Hardly likely for these reasons: The profiles that usually come up for sale are not the Tier 1 IDs but rather the more mediocre ones. As such, the strategy of buying profiles to assimilate the back catalogue of friends or reputation has a major drawback - the ratio of effort to benefit. A couple thousand friends on MySpace will not do a whole lot for any business, you need friends in the hundreds of thousands to make any serious difference.

MySpace is not the only community this will work with by selling your digg or propeller accountthe way.  You can build power accounts on virtually any social community, with some of the best being sites like,, Propeller and others.  Any site that allows you to build contacts, friends or reputation will do just fine. In fact, it even works for forum accounts, particularly those where a higher post count matters and those where there are other collectibles e.g. trader points, member awarded reputation points etc.

Building a power account is an expertise in itself. With Digg and Propeller, for example, it comes from being good at finding cool stories/sites/pages and getting a lot of people to agree with you that they are worthy finds. Skills involved would include being able to find and friend a lot of other members, networking with them to support each other's stories and  having a keen eye for attractive headline copy. Familiarity with the process takes a while and account sellers may choose to rinse and repeat rather than learn the ropes anew at a different site each time they sell an account.

How effective is account selling as a business? Not very. The time required to build an account to the point of someone wanting to buy it may not justify the price for most people. However, if building a power account is something that you'd be doing anyway in the normal course of your day, or you have a power account and an overdraft that needs to be cleared, hey, advertise it for sale. A few forums allow these posts and there are other avenues but stealth is very much the cornerstone - or risk losing the account altogether.


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