According to Us Weekly, there's a vending machine that allows customers to buy Cup Noddles with Instagram likes instead of money.
The vending machine is located in the Del Amo Fashion Center in Los Angeles and it's already generating serious buzz. From a distance, it appears to be a standard vending machine for Cup Noodles and some other products, but up close it's much different.
For starters, the sign nearby reveals that the "Dream Machine" operates entirely without cash.
"POST A SELFIE TO DROP A PRIZE FROM THE SHELFIE!"Apparently, the machine has users press a button to generate a random hashtag. The customer is then required to post of them and the machine on Instagram using the hashtag that was generated, they must also tag @foodbeast and @originalcupnoodles. After the machine, which is connected to social media, registers that share, it spits out instructions on how to obtain one of the prizes inside.
Foodbeast, the brains behind the machine's creation, revealed that it started out as a "joke" during a marketing brainstorm sessions.
"We're hoping this machine allows for the democratization of the Instagram influencer experience," said Rudy Chaney, co-founder of Foodbeast during a press release regarding the vending machine.
The machine was put in the store on March 1 and they have plans for a second machine to appear in the Premium Outlets South in Las Vegas on March 6.Interestingly, the vending machines have actually seen prior use before. Both are old 1970s vending machines that were purchased from Craigslist and eBay and then retrofitted for its current use. They were given top-of-the-line software that enables a social media connection and tracking software that permits their unique abilities.
In addition to Cup Noodles and the products varying flavors, it also dispenses other prizes like video games for various consoles, gift vouchers for unspecified prizes, and other merchandise.
The vending machine that uses Instagram posts, likes, and currencies is a neat concept. It also hints at the value social media exposure has to companies like Foodbeast and Nissin Foods, willing to give away free food and merchandise in exchange for shares.
It's not clear how long the Dream Machine will remain in Los Angeles or what other prizes might be found inside until then.
The company has already addressed multiple questions about future machine installations on their Twitter feed and the news is largely disappointing. It would appear that for now, Foodbeast is content to have just the two machines in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and aren't actively looking into installing others elsewhere.