On Facebook, Imitation Is Flattery

By Justin Lafferty 

Many of us spend quite a bit of time choosing our Facebook profile pictures. Dan Manina spends just as much, if not more, copying his friends’ profile pictures. A kind-spirited rivalry with a friend, trying to get the most likes, has turned into a fun exercise — Your Profile Pictures.

Manina and his friend generally banter back and forth, doing fun things on Facebook to see who can get the most likes out of it. Then one day, Manina started copying his buddy’s profile photo. He later thought it would be fun to do this with the rest of his friends. Manina currently has 388 friends, but he’s not sure if he’ll emulate each one.

Once a day, he’ll post a picture to his website and Facebook page, emulating a friend’s profile photo. It doesn’t matter if they have a tattoo or are standing next to a prehistoric creature — he’ll find a way to recreate the scene.

Manina talked with AllFacebook about the experience:

Everyone just kept liking it, and people told me, “Why are you doing this? This is hilarious!” I don’t know, and now I’m stuck and now I’ve got to do all my friends … I’m not making fun of anyone, I’m just copying their picture. In the end, I’m the one looking stupid.

First, Manina started with his close friends, but a funny thing happened. The exercise became kind of popular. His friends started asking him to do their profile photo next. He even got messages and friend requests, asking for their profile photo to be emulated. Manina said that four people even defriended him for imitating their photos. Three asked that the photo be taken down. So far, the page has 24 subscribers (24 more than Manina ever thought he’d have).

Manina said that through Your Profile Pictures, he’s gotten to know some of his Facebook friends better. He’ll pick one that he hasn’t talked to in a while, swap messages back and forth, and start a conversation.

I didn’t want to do people I didn’t know that well in the beginning, because I didn’t want them to think I was making fun of them. I wanted to ease people into it. After about 20 of them, I started picking people I don’t really know, so that way no one would think I’m offending them.

Readers: Have you ever done anything fun like this through Facebook?

Images courtesy of Dan Manina.