The internet's greatest mysteries explore not only the strangeness of technology, but also the strangeness of human nature itself. WhoPaid99Cents.com is one example of just such a mystery.
The website couldn't be more simple. You go to WhoPaid99Cents.com. You input your name (you can make one up if you like) and your credit card information. After you've paid 99 cents, you can see the names of everyone who's already paid 99 cents before you. No one makes you do this...but many people did anyway.
@mashable Well, it's either this or Arizona Iced Tea— Kris (@Kris)1539372194.0
The website's fine print reads:
Your name will be public. Obviously. That's the point. Just use a fake one if you want. Your receipt will be emailed to you.
And, below that, it goes on:
All sales are final. Please don't sue us. No copyright intended.
@mashable @pasql 1000*$.99=$999 https://t.co/vLL9IBKjer— Jason Dunne (@Jason Dunne)1539369452.0
Business Insider reports the names are mostly uninteresting, and include several Soundcloud links, a few tasteless jokes (such as "9/11 was an inside job.") and one user claiming to be HQ trivia.
Sadly, to go back and check how many people have used the service since the last time you logged on, you must once again pay 99 cents.
Why is this so addicting it makes me want to pay again just to see again who paid 99 cents. I'm going to lose all m… https://t.co/Jt8smYpVpK— Taylor Lorenz (@Taylor Lorenz)1539359311.0
The website was apparently built by Brooklyn-based computer entertainment studio Thinko, whose logo appears on the bottom of the site. When asked about the company's motivations for building such a
pointless unique website, Pasquale D'Silva told Business Insider:
We like making computers do funny things. Computers have been used to do boring things forever.
...We pretty much build anything that makes us laugh at Thinko.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the world we live in 🤦♂️ https://t.co/4bh5jllmN6— ecent (@ecent)1539426773.0
But why would people actually pay the 99 cents? D'Silva has an idea:
People are paying because it gives them something funny they can talk about. I think people like the feeling of making other people laugh too. It's just good energy. Especially given that it's at their expense.
@pasql make it paypal compatible bc im dying to know who paid 99 cents— MOTHICA (@MOTHICA)1539367976.0
Twitter wasn't sure how to feel about the website—many loved it, many gave it a hard pass.
@TaylorLorenz https://t.co/fqACZIC0BC— old jet sam hell (@old jet sam hell)1539376528.0
@TaylorLorenz Sorry, the buck stops here— Tom Weber (@Tom Weber)1539359145.0
@TaylorLorenz @oldjetsam Send one dollar to Happy Dude https://t.co/zjOkZkTtmS— Rob (@Rob)1539378435.0
Other internet users simply didn't get it:
@TaylorLorenz How do I see how many bozoz have paid?— Siddharth (@Siddharth)1539371398.0
Well, the website is certainly worth a laugh. And how will D'Silva and Thinko utilize all those sweet, sweet 99-cent payments?
Invest it in the next great internet comedy product. We have an endless queue of things. Ideally we fill the internet up with them, and everyone can laugh a little more.
@EDadoun Love it!! And cheers to those of us that would pay 99 cents to see, then pay 99 cents again to see if our… https://t.co/O3turMoRrl— extruhhh RP ⚡️ (@extruhhh RP ⚡️)1539428157.0