The creation of automated friends and general profile gaming has been a part of MySpace for a long time now. The general idea is that by creating more friends and more data you are more likely to gain traffic for what ever it is you are ultimately trying to sell.
YouTube has been fairly immune from widespread gaming to date. YouTube Friend Adders have been around for a while, but given the nature of YouTube, adding friends doesn’t really deliver much in the way of tangible benefits.
A new package, Tube Automator, hit my inbox yesterday. Tube Automator promises to deliver real traffic and results to uploaded YouTube videos by automating the YouTube friend creation process, commenting process and rating process.
The theory is that to gain real interest for a video on YouTube, a video must hit the top lists on YouTube, which includes the most commented videos, most viewed videos and the top rated videos.
According to the Tube Automator site
And just in case YouTube catches on, Tube Automater has the ability to post at random intervals “to make it look like real people have posted and voted” and “Supports proxies to make posts look like they came from visitors across the world.”
I have no idea whether it works or not. In their product demo video (screencast below) they show high rated videos that are claimed to have been successfully promoted using their software; some rated so highly they appear next to videos from well known folks such as Chris Pirillo.
YouTube fans can only hope that Google finds a way of blocking and cracking down on this style of YouTube gaming ASAP. As long as these sorts of packages continue to flourish, the validity of the top lists on YouTube is thrown into question.