HOUSTON - You can reunite with old classmates, share pictures of your family or network, but if none of that is enough to encourage you to join Facebook, we've got something else that just might: freebies!
From food to office supplies, manufacturers are using the social networking site to promote their products. That means you can get a load of free stuff.
It may have been Burger King that launched the Facebook freebie frenzy when it offered a free Whopper to anyone who deleted 10 Facebook friends. Burger King reports 233,906 friends were bartered for a burger.
Other companies caught on. Now, you might say, everybody's doing it.
"If I don't find a Facebook freebie like once every other day, I'm surprised," said Ryan "Goob" Eubanks.
Goob is a freebie fanatic. He runs a the website heyitsfree.net, where he shares his free finds with his readers. He sat down to talk with us via Skype.
"People who hunt for freebies, they have the attention span of a 5-year-old. And myself included, if I have to jump through hoops just to get free gummies or free anything, I'm not going to do it," he told Davis.
Goob said you can get most freebies on Facebook by simply "friending" or "liking" the Facebook page of a product.
By simply clicking the "like" button on the Kraft Foods Facebook page, you can get a free sample pack of food.
"Why are so many manufacturers doing this? What's in it for them?" Davis asked Goob.
"They kind of trust the sample will sell itself," Goob replied. "People will get it and eat it or use it ... and go 'Oh, I got to buy this.'"
Of course, some manufacturers may also want your information to use for marketing their products. It's why Catherine, creator of frugal-freebies.com, said you should have a separate e-mail account that you use just to sign up for freebies.
"You don't have to give them your right birth date," she told Davis. "You don't have to give them your right phone number."
Catherine started scouring the web for freebies about two years ago, when her husband was lamenting the cost of razors.
"I said, 'You know, I could go online and get you some for free.' And so now he has enough until about 2012," said Catherine.
So how can you find the free deals? Catherine shared her secret with us.
"I went to Google and they have Google alerts; and you put in search words that you're interested in," explained Catherine. "So I put in 'freebies,' and everyday they send me a list of the latest freebies that have posted to the Internet, and I go check them out."
There's even better news. Catherine and Goob already do the searching. By checking out their websites, Facebook pages or following them on Twitter, you'll get updates about all the deals they find. Then you can sign up, too.
Both said they started their sites as more of a hobby, but they now have advertising on their pages.
They make a small amount of money every time someone clicks on an ad from their website.
If you have a consumer question to "Ask Amy," send her an e-mail.Copyright 2006 by Click2Houston.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.