Ever since the dawn of the internet, people have found a way to artificially make themselves look more popular online. In exchange for a small sum, various dodgy-looking websites have long promised to boost your ego by selling you fake followers. Now, one Russian company is taking that concept offline, allowing you to improve your social standing by buying likes at a vending machine.
Spotted in a mall in Moscow by Russian journalist Alexey Kovalev, for $0.89 this machine will give you 100 fake likes on any Instagram post. For those with deeper pockets and a more pressing need for insincere validation, the same company also offers to net you 150,000 followers for $850. The company promises that paying the princely sum will also guarantee delivery of up to 1,500 likes per post. For those wanting a memento of all their new 'friends', this machine will also print your Instagram snaps too.
Instalike vending machine is for cheapskates. For $850 you can buy 150,000 followers guaranteed to deliver up to 1500 Likes to each post. pic.twitter.com/5V3HTQ4kfl— Alexey Kovalev (@Alexey__Kovalev) June 6, 2017
With Instagram celebrities making a living from the alluring social platform, it's not hard to see how a machine like this came to exist. While arguably a new low for capitalism, this isn't exactly the first time that a vending machine has embraced the strange world of the internet. In Ethopia, you can get illegal rips of all the latest movies and TV shows downloaded straight to a vending machine-dispensed USB stick.
With pirated entertainment and fake friends now being dispensed as easily as candy bars, let's just hope that the last bastion of online purity, our Uber ratings, remains honest and true.