The “Framily” plan: A cell phone deal for friends, loved ones and … randos on Twitter?

Sprint customers searching for a bargain have taken to tweeting at strangers to fill out their “framily” plan, which, since January, has allowed subscribers to join up to nine other people on a single account to decrease their monthly bill. The more people you sign up, the lower your monthly bill gets.

But finding nine other people who want to be in your framily isn’t easy. That’s a lot of people framily members! So what’s the next best thing to IRL family and friends?

Strangers, of course:

Instagram is also seeing its share of the #thirst for a deal:

Oh, there’s also a mini-social network, Facebook page, a Twitter account, and an official Sprint network dedicated to building framilies. How deep does this go? Is this all just a viral marketing scam? Does Sprint exist? Am I part of the problem? (Probably?)

Questions for another day. Point is: Does any of this even work?

Well no, not really, according to one such seeker of deals.

“I haven’t had much success,” said Nelly Lopez, 23, from California, who has been asking people to join her framily on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook for about a month.

“I figured why not take advantage of the fact that I can pay $25 if I get more people to join,” Lopez said, adding that only one person has joined her framily, which is currently two members strong.

Sprint spokeswoman Kristin Wallace said reaching out to random people on social media is perfectly fine in Sprint’s eyes, adding that basically nothing is off-limits for customers trying to grow their framily “as long as it is legal.”

The Way We Live Now, right?