For the rest of the week, eBay is hosting charity auction TwitChange, the first ever celebrity tweet auction, which is raising money for aHomeInHaiti.org. We're all for lending a hand to Haiti, but selling off Twitter connections is not necessarily the best way to do it.
Getting non-celebrity followers is pretty cheap. Elsewhere on eBay, you can "buy" followers for under a penny each. Want to stroke your ego with 5,000 followers? That'll cost you just $20--about a quarter of a penny per follower. Marketing companies such as uSocial and Hype140 are offering followers by the thousands--100,000 for $3,479 or 50,000 for $500. In other words, it's inexpensive to inflate your follower counts--tweets are cheap.
Of course, TwitChange isn't just hawking any old followers, and there must be some value to having celebrity Twitter friends. Currently, actor Zachary Levi and UFC aficionado Dan White are topping eBay's charts. Hundreds of people have bid about $15,000 for the privilege of their Twitter Mega Packages. What's included? Right now, "Ryan Seacrest will follow you on Twitter for a minimum of 90 days, will retweet one of your tweets and will send out a tweet including your @twitterhandle." Cost: $1,525. And you can bet on day 91 Seacrest will immediately unfollow you.
Well over 150 Twitter celebs are up for auction, including the Kardashian sisters, Felicia Day, Alyssa Milano, Rainn Wilson, and many more who have topped the charts of influential celebrities on Twitter, based on click-through rates. That sphere of influence may well bring more attention to aHomeInHaiti than the money TwitChange actually raises.
And just wait until Justin Bieber turns up the heat.