Can you really get paid to be a virtual friend online? The internet is a crazy, weird, and wonderful place where you can make money selling practically anything (like farts in jars) – even if it sounds like something nobody would pay for. In this blog, we’re looking at how you can get paid to be a virtual friend online on sites like Fiverr Friendship and Rent a Cyber Friend, plus how much money you can make being an online friend, how to stay safe, and tips for making money online as a virtual friend.
The internet has been bringing people together that can’t (or can’t be bothered to) leave the house since, well, pretty much the dawn of the internet itself. Bulletin boards, mIRC, and ICQ, have matured into apps like Facebook and Twitter that help isolated people feel more connected to the world.
If you spend a lot of time online chatting to people you’ve never met on social media, there’s a good chance you could be spending that time making money out of your chats on platforms that are designed specifically for platonic online friends.
Not only can you find people in the virtual world that you have things in common with, but you can make some extra income – and help a person who might be unable to leave their home or socialize for any number of reasons.
Let’s take a look at the world of virtual friends, and how to make money chatting online.
What Is A Virtual Friend?
Think about how many friends you’ve met on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that you’ve never met in real life. Probably quite a few, right?
Being a virtual friend isn’t much different. You chat with another person online via messages, calls, video chats, or emails. You’ll never meet them in person unless you mutually agree on it, but many of the people you talk to online become genuine, real friends over time.
As an online friend, you can talk about anything you like – such as discussing current events, talking about work and life, or giving helpful advice.
Virtual friends connect with others through online messaging, phone calls, video chats, email, etc. There are no in-person meetings or hangouts required unless both parties choose to do so.
Because most of us have used social media for many years now, getting paid to be a virtual friend isn’t a big step in terms of a learning curve or stepping outside your comfort zone.
Why Do People Pay For Virtual Friends?
With the onset of the pandemic, many people now understand what it’s like to be isolated at home. A recent study showed that Americans made an average of 6 new online friends during their quarantine.
But for many people, isolation can be a daily reality – regardless of Covid. Many people feel lonely but can’t (or don’t want to) seek new friends, or socialize. They might be elderly, disabled, or have mental health issues that prevent them living a full life, so having an online friend can provide them with human company they might otherwise not have.
People that pay for virtual friends include:
- Elderly people
- Disabled people
- People with chronic illness
- Introverts and anxiety sufferers
- Digital nomads that may find it hard to meet people and form friendships as they travel
- People that are going through a difficult time for any reason
- People living in isolated areas
There can be many reasons why people don’t or can’t create real, physical friendships – so being a virtual friend to them can make them feel normal, liked, loved, confident, and safe.
Aside from being an extra source of income for you, the work you do as a virtual friend has real, tangible meaning for the person you’re talking with online.
Can You Really Get Paid To Be An Online Friend?
There are many websites designed for people seeking virtual friends that let you connect socially and get paid for your time. These sites are designed to be safe, platonic, and secure to ensure your time as a virtual friend is well spent.
How Much Money Can You Make As A Virtual Friend?
Virtual friends typically charge anywhere from $20 per hour and upwards. So the more time you devote to online friendships, the more money you can potentially make.
If you just want to make some extra cash on the side, you could earn an extra $560 a month being a virtual friend and working only 7 hours a week, charging at $20 an hour.
But the earning potential is there for you to earn $800 a week for 40 hours of time spent chatting online. That’s $41,600 a year.
Think about how much time you spend chatting online already and not getting paid for it….how much extra income could you be making instead?
What Does A Virtual Friend Do?
As a virtual friend, you can chat freely, give advice, learn a new hobby together, play games, or teach someone a new skill.
Whether you just want to hang out online, or create value with each call – it’s up to you and your online friend to decide how best to spend your time together.
Is Being A Virtual Friend Right For You?
Is being a virtual friend right for everyone? If you’re naturally friendly, and at ease with making friends with strangers, this is a great start.
Some things to consider before you sign up and start taking calls are:
- Are you a good listener?
- Are you empathic and interested in learning about other people and their lives?
- Do you enjoy talking to people of all ages, from different countries and different walks of life?
- Do you enjoy getting to know people?
- Are you okay with 1 to 1 conversations?
- Do you genuinely want to become a friend to people in need of companionship?
If you’ve answered “yes” to these points, then it’s worth taking the next step and seeing if you enjoy getting paid to be an online friend.
Is It Safe To Be A Virtual Friend?
Being a virtual friend is completely safe as long as you choose reputable apps and websites, and take care to protect your privacy and your personal safety.
How much you choose to reveal about yourself is up to you, so make sure you’re open and honest about the terms of your online friend services, how you prefer to interact, and what isn’t okay for you.
Virtual friend websites are not dating websites, and these platforms have systems in place to protect their virtual friends from being harrassed or dealing with other inappropriate or sexual situations.
Some basic safety tips to keep in mind are:
- Never share your address with new virtual friends
- If you get weird vibes from a new online friend, they may not be the right person to chat with. If they’re crossing the line – report them to your virtual friend platform immediately
- Be aware of possible scams
- Check each virtual friend website’s safety measures and advice before you sign up
Setting safe boundaries will ensure that everyone enjoys their time being an online friend.
How To Find Virtual Friend Jobs Online
There are many different ways to get paid to be a virtual friend. Most of them are simple and free to sign up with – all you need to do is create a personal profile with a descriptive, honest bio, and submit your application to become an online friend. Add your payment details so that you can get paid by the platform you join, and you’re ready to start making new virtual friends!
Fiverr is a great site for selling all kinds of services – including virtual friendship! There’s even a section on their site called Fiverr Friendship where you can create a profile listing your freelance virtual friend services.
You can set your own rates as a virtual friend here – if you go to the Fiverr Friendship page, you can see how much other virtual friends are charging, and read their profiles to get an idea of the types of friendship services you could offer. These could include:
- Life coaching
- Career coaching
- Playing online games with friends
- General friendly chatting
As Fiverr is quite a competitive space, you’ll need to add a clear, friendly-looking photo of yourself, and create a strong bio that will make people want to reach out to you. Be honest with who you are and the services you offer, and don’t be afraid to show your personality here!
Let’s take a look at a 5-star Fiverr friend and what they’re offering, as an example:
As you can see, you can offer different types of packages to your virtual friend buyers. This seller starts her rates at $30 for 30 minutes of audio or texting, and goes up to $60 for a Premium 60 minute video call.
You can set your own rates and services so that you can give buyers more options, and price things to make it worth your time as well.
When you’re pricing your time and packages, be aware that Fiverr takes a 20% commission fee on whatever you earn. When you first start out, you should price lower to get some customers and some good reviews – but make sure you raise your rates when you become a more established virtual friend.
Rent A Cyber Friend
This website is a dedicated friend-finding platform. RentaCyberFriend makes it easy for buyers to find you based on shared interests and hobbies. So you’re starting out with similar interests (which is always a great icebreaker) and you can also teach your new friends what you know about problems they want to solve, or new skills they want to learn.
When you set up your profile, can select from a wide range of services that you’d like to offer, and tag subjects you’re interested in, including:
- Cooking and baking
- Movies and television
Buyers will see your profile and decide whether you’re a perfect match as a new virtual friend or not, so make sure you’re honest about the categories you select here!
When you set up your personal profile, you’ll also specific how you want to meet online (such as Zoom, Skype, Facetime, or by audio or messaging), which languages you speak, and what you can help people with. This is a 100% online friend service, so there are no in-person meetings allowed.
Unlike Fiverr, RentaCyberFriend isn’t free to join and use. Membership starts at $29.99 per month, so you’ll need to recover those costs with your virtual friend service fees.
As you can see, FriendPC lets you sign up to be a virtual friend, life coach, gamer, or virtual girlfriend!
Despite the girlfriend bit, this platform makes it crystal clear this isn’t a dating website. So if you feel uncomfortable with the behavior of anybody that hires you as a friend, you can block or report them, and let the platform take action on your behalf.
It’s simple to sign up and create your profile on FriendPC. And when you get a virtual friend booking, you’ll get paid immediately, unlike other websites that pay out weekly or monthly.
You can start getting friend bookings for free on the Starter plan. This lets you post one listing. You can upgrade for a small fee if you want to post more listings or access more features on the platform. Upgraded packages also mean you pay less commission for every friend booking.
With FriendPC, you can set your own rates, your preferred method of meeting online friends, and your calendar booking schedule. Want to meet in person? FriendPC is okay with this, but make sure you specificy in your personal profile whether this is something you want to offer as a service.
FriendPC keeps your identity and contact information safe by only allowing new virtual friends who have paid to contact you outside of their message center. This reduces the chance of you being contacted by weirdos and spammers who don’t intend to book your services or pay you.
Rent A Local Friend
Rent a Local Friend connects new visitors or travelers to people that live locally in cities around the world. As a local virtual friend, you have a wealth of knowledge to share that can help people who might have just moved to your city, or want to plan a holiday with a great itinerary.
This virtual friend network includes:
- 325 Cities
- 1083 Partners Worldwide
- 69040 Travelers who use the community
This platform offers three types of friend services, so you can choose which works best for you as a seller:
- Remote concierge – as a virtual friend, you’ll give people your inside knowledge of local tips and potential traps and scams to avoid. This is important for travellers who may be worried about getting ripped off by common scams. You’ll share your knowledge via chat or on a video call – whichever you prefer
- Local friend – you’ll meet new people in person and show them your favourite places in your home town
- Virtual friend – you can chat socially about anything you want to with a focus on culture, events, places, and things to do in your own city
Rent a Local Friend is a bit like TripAdvisor, only people with questions about a certain area get to chat live to a local expert about the things they’re interested in, or need advice on. As well as being a virtual friend, you get to hone your skills as a virtual tour guide at the same time.
You’ll need to pay a fee when you sign up to this platform as part of the verification process, but you can easily make this back once you start making friends on here. You can set your own terms on here, and decide which service(s) you want to offer.
Here’s a quick video walkthrough about how the Rent A Local Friend platform works:
Rent A Friend
Don’t be fooled by the terrible website design! Rent A Friend is a well-known and reputable website for virtual friends. It has been running since 2009 and connects over 620,000 people around the world with online friends.
This platform keeps its users safe by making it abundantly clear that it’s not a dating site – and is strictly for social hangouts. As always, when you sign up and create a profile, make it clear what your boundaries are for people who want to hire you as a friend.
This site allows people to meet in person, so make sure you mention in your bio whether you’re willing to take your friendship offline, or whether you want to keep things in the virtual world.
The bonus of using Rent A Friend to make money as a virtual friend is that you get to keep 100% of what you earn. This website charges a subscription fee to people who are looking to hire virtual friends, so all you need to focus on is finding buyers for your friend services.
I’m only going to give Freelancer a quick mention. It’s not typically a place where people go to find virtual friends, but these opportunities do pop up every now and then – so if you create a profile and a listing, you’ll be found if people are looking for online friends, or online chat buddies.
Similar to Fiverr that we talked about earlier, you just need to set up a personal profile outlining a bit about yourself, your interests, your services, and any skills that might be relevant to people searching for a virtual friend on Freelancer.
Freelancer works in a bit of a different way to Fiverr, in that you search for people looking for virtual friends, and then pitch yourself as the best person to help them. If the person hires you to be a friend, you’ll get paid once you’ve met with them and ‘completed the project’.
You set your own rates for your friendship services on this platform. Freelancer will take a commision out of this payment, and you get to keep the rest.
The downside of this platform is that it takes time for you to check new projects for online friends, and you might be bidding against other potential virtual friends who want the same project. The best tactic here is to price your services lower to start with, until you have some experience and testimonials you can use to get more friendship projects – then you can put your prices up.
You’ll get 6 free bids on friendship projects every month, then you’ll need to pay to bid on more projects if they arise.
Another Option: Start Your Own Online Friend Website!
Want to be a virtual friend, but run things your own way AND keep all the profit for yourself instead of giving fees to online platforms? It’s easy to set up you own website in under an hour, and it will only cost you the price of a cup of coffee every month, so it’s easy to make your money back once you start getting paid for virtual friend bookings.
If you get stuck, you can hire somebody off Fiverr cheaply to help you design and build your dream virtual friend website.
Tips To Make More Money As An Online Friend
Create a personal profile that stands out from the rest!
Use clear, friendly-looking photos, and show your personality in your bio. Make your profile something that encourages people to really want to be your friend and get to know you. What makes you awesome? What makes you different from everyone else? What makes you quirky and interesting? If a potential friend was trying to narrow down paying for your services and somebody else’s – why should they choose you?
Sign up to multiple virtual friend websites
The more places you appear online, the more chances you have to get found and hired as a virtual friend. You might find that one platform ends up working really well for you, so you should focus on that one – but until then, it’s best to try your luck with every platform.
Be the best online friend possible
Give your new virtual friend a great experience when they pay for time with you. This means giving them 100% of your attention at every call or meeting. Turn your phone off, and eliminate any other distractions. These people are paying for your services, so always show up like a professional. Be helpful, fun, entertaining, understanding, empathic, and friendly – whatever you’re being hired to be!
Work on creating friendships that bring in recurring revenue
Did people love your virtual friend services? Did they leave a great testimonial for you? Make sure you keep in touch with these people and reach out to them every now and then to see how they are, or whether they’d like to book you again.
How To Stay Safe As A Virtual Friend
Virtual friend platforms have policies and security measures in place to protect your privacy and help you stay safe. So you can chat safely to people and not feel harrassed or afraid. But there’s still a few basic precautions you should take.
Only sign up for trusted friend websites
The websites mentioned above all have great reputations and are well known and trusted. They have payment systems in place to make sure you get paid securely, and safety measures that protect you and your friendship services. If you’re looking at other websites we haven’t mentioned, do your due diligence and read all the reviews you can about the website before you sign up to make sure it’s legit.
Be careful about your privacy
Even on trusted friendship websites, you’re still talking with complete strangers. Don’t give too much away about yourself, and never share confidential information. Don’t ever give out bank details, credit card details, your phone number, or your address. Stay alert and street smart when you’re on calls or meeting in person. If you’re uncomfortable at any time, it’s okay to leave a call or meeting, and report the person to the friendship platform so they can’t harm others.
Be clear and firm with your boundaries
Your friendship services come with a set of rules – your rules. Be clear in your personal profiles about what you are and aren’t okay with. And stick firmly to these rules. If a new virtual friend doesn’t respect these rules, or they breach the strict rules set by the virtual friend platform – it’s okay to block and report them if necessary.
Conclusion – How To Get Paid To Be A Virtual Friend Online
If you want to start selling your friendship services and get paid to be a virtual friend, this article will give you a good start about which platforms to sign up for, how much you can earn as an online friend, and how to stay safe and protect your privacy when you’re online.
Being a virtual friend can give you some extra income for not much effort, and you’ll also be helping people who are in need of human contact and socializing for whatever reason.