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For $24.99 “Invisible Boyfriend” App Creates Fake Romantic Partners to Relieve Social Pressure

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, lots of single people are probably dreading an onrush of uncomfortable questions from parents and other nosy relatives. Thankfully, there’s a new app called the ‘Invisible Boyfriend’ that could help them get through the awkward situation with ease.

The genius app, which recently went from private to public beta, allows users to pay for “believable social proof” that they’re actually in a relationship. The app generates everything that would exist in a real-life relationship, like photos, text messages, and even voicemails – all fake, but realistic.  “It really helps people tell a better story about a relationship they’re not in,” said Matthew Homann, who created the app along with Kyle Tabor. 

He revealed that he first purchased the domains ‘invisibleboyfriend’ and ‘invisiblegirlfriend’ nine years ago, just after a divorce. He didn’t do much with them for a long time, but at a 2013 Startup Weekend in St. Louis, he decided to pitch the idea. Matthew and his team won first place, after which there was no looking back. 

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Although it sounds funny, Matthew and Kyle insist that their app is not a joke. “When we [started] in November of 2013, it seemed to be easy to joke about the idea of the service,” Kyle said. “[But] we really have been surprised and humbled—there are people who look at this, it’s not a joke for them. We really think people signing up are filling a meaningful void.”

They said that there could be several legit situations where the app would be very useful – right from soldiers overseas without a girlfriend back home, to people who are trying to fend off unwelcome advances.

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Interestingly, people have managed to find uses for the app that even the founders never envisioned. Like this one male user who got a woman to commit to him after she came across the app’s fake messages on his phone. “She saw that he had an upcoming date with another girl—his Invisible Girlfriend,” Kyle said. “That put a fire underneath her—she needed to lock things down.”

Matthew refused to reveal the ‘secret’ behind the messages, but he did say that they weren’t robotic or auto-generated and that there was always a real person at the other end. “One of our users actually told us she’s texted her Invisible Boyfriend practicing things she might say to a young man she might meet in St. Louis that she’s interested in.”

 

Mashable writer Karissa Bell tested the app, which provided her with an invisible boyfriend named Clark Kent. While the name is quite cheesy, the messages she got were actually surprisingly real. “The experience wasn’t bot-like as I expected,” Karissa wrote. “He took a few minutes to respond to each message and seemed to have an answer ready for everything. The answers stopped just a little short of generic.”

The Invisible Boyfriend app is currently only available in the U.S. and Canada, but Matthew and Kyle hope to raise more funds expand to other parts of the world. The inaugural service costs $24.99 and it includes 100 texts, 10 voicemails, and one handwritten note. The founders said that they would continue to learn what users need, and come with less and more expensive packages in the future.

Sources: Mashable, TODAY