• Vice
  • Jan 01 1970
  • WVGA

I Rented Friends to Be More Popular on Instagram

Family Romance is a Japanese company that specializes in, of all things, “people for rent.” No matter what kind of stand-in you’re looking for—a friend, a spouse, a parent, a colleague—the company provides you with a complete stranger that can sub in for the real thing, with an eye toward making your life look a little more thrilling, glamorous, or accomplished online than it might be in reality.

Founder Yuichi Ishii guarantees that photos taken as a part of what he calls his “Life Enjoyment Representation Service” will rack up at least 100 likes on Instagram—and often times, they wind up netting much more than that.

We hit up Family Romance to give the service a try, hiring six of the company’s employees to throw VICE Japan’s Kumpei Kuwamoto a wild birthday party—or at least what looked like one online.

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