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Things we don’t get: Add AT&T phones to your friends’ pictures

Facebook. It’s the new shiz, right? Ever since they opened their service to all users — not just those in college — they’ve skyrocketed in membership, up to around 30 million now. Because of this spike — well, because of the general social networking spike — advertisers have been trying to get their grubby hands on this market. Virgin Mobile entered the fray about two months ago; now, AT&T wants a piece. However, they’re doing things a bit differently, and we’re not sure we understand.

AT&T’s widget will allow users to…overlay AT&T branded phones into images. Exciting, no? So you can understand why we’re confused here. It’s just that we’ve never had the urge to add the image of a phone to a picture.

If you think we’re kidding, we’ll quote right from the article:

Social networking site users will get the chance to adorn photos of their friends with virtual AT&T Wireless branded phones as part of an upcoming widget campaign by the mobile provider. The app will let people place images of cell phones into digital photos on their profile pages; the Flash-based photo accessories will vibrate upon rollover, and can even be souped up with ringtones.

The overall effort is being spearheaded by Slide, the company that provides digital slideshows for Facebook users. So when that picture of your drunk buddy comes up, he’ll be holding an AT&T phone. And if you roll over the phone, the picture will vibrate. Coooooooool.

We’re presuming that you can also click on the phone and be brought to the AT&T wireless website. Neat-o. You know, because we always have the urge to purchase a phone when we see someone carrying one — especially when they’re carrying it in a completely unnatural, Photoshopped manner.

Seriously, we understand new wave marketing. But this just sounds like a dead end idea to us. Companies are going to continue thinking of ways to penetrate the social networking market, and there are bound to be lame-brained ideas like this one along the way. But hey, it’s more money out of AT&T’s pocket with little chance for a return. So it’s not all bad.

[ClickZ]