An app paid me $10 to wait in line and then party at Samsung's NYC space

An app paid me $10 to wait in line and then party at Samsung’s NYC space

The line outside of Samsung’s New York City event space on Thursday night stretched down the block, hundreds of people queued in a way that’s common in the city’s club-heavy Meatpacking District.

They were ostensibly there to enjoy the band Judah & the Lion and check out a livestream of Coldplay in concert. In truth, many, including myself, were getting paid just to be in line.

I had on the day prior signed up for Surkus, a new app that pairs people with events in need of people. Surkus can find models for your rooftop party or make your new restaurants seem like the hottest thing in town. On Thursday, Samsung apparently needed people to give their event the appearance of overwhelming demand.

I’m no Instagram celebrity or Snapchat influencer, and I didn’t meet anyone who was while at the event. We were selected based on the photos we display on the Surkus app. Think Tinder, but you’re getting cast to attend an event instead of a date. 

On Wednesday, I filled out my Surkus profile with a selection of me wearing my Snapchat Spectacles, me with friends, and me with a drink in my hand:

My Surkus profile

My Surkus profile

Image: surkus

Creating a profile on Surkus requires selecting at least three photos and also linking to your Facebook account. 

The next step is waiting to be cast. It took less than a day before I received my first invite with the subject line: “Are You Available Thursday, August 17th at 8:00 PM for Judah & The Lion Live + Coldplay Live in VR @ Samsung 837?”

My answer: Yes. 

But just because I was free to attend doesn’t mean I’ll be invited. I applied with one click. At 2:14 p.m., I received another email.

“I feel like a winner,” I shouted in the office, alerting my coworkers that I had been cast to attend a party. 

The details were available via Surkus’s website and the app. It all seemed pretty straightforward. I just had to register for the free event, figure out what “fashion forward” meant, and remember to not mention payment when I arrived.

Official acceptance to Samsung event

Official acceptance to Samsung event

Image: surkus

Trying to be my best influencer self, I arrived right on time at 8 p.m. I had registered a friend as my guest on so I had someone else to chat with while in line.

I searched the line of about 100 people for the Surkus ambassador “Tina T,” but I couldn’t find her. So, I sent her a message via the Surkus app:

Texts between me and the Surkus ambassador, all via the Surkus app

Texts between me and the Surkus ambassador, all via the Surkus app


Alright, no need to find Tina. 

I was able to check in via one click on the Surkus app that confirmed I was there via GPS. 

Around 8:30 p.m., a woman and a man holding Samsung tablets arrived to where I was standing. The guy in front of me said his name first. When the woman could not find him on the list, she asked how he had registered. 

“Surkus,” he responded. 

Turns out him and the four friends next to him in line were all there via Surkus. The woman added their names to Samsung’s list and moved on to me. 

I checked in and then quickly realized that I could probably just leave right then. Thirty minutes to wait and chat with a friend = $10. Not bad. 

But we both decided to stay. 

The first hour we wandered the three-floor venue and played around with the phones, tablets, and watches. It seemed like visiting an Apple retail store at night but with a DJ playing in the background mixed with screams from people enjoying (I guess?) Samsung’s virtual reality demos.

Samsung's event space opened in 2016

Samsung’s event space opened in 2016

Image: kerry flynn/mashable

A woman in her 20s standing next to me also made the connection to an Apple store. 

“This is cool. Like Apple wouldn’t do this type of thing,” she said to her friend as she took a photo of the stage with her iPhone. 

My friend and I stayed through Judan & The Lion, but I called a Lyft Line a couple songs into the livestream of Coldplay playing in Chicago. 

At 11:01, while I was sitting in the car, I received an email: “You’ve Been Paid!” 

I didn’t click to claim when I received another email from PayPal. But I guess I’m still highly rated. When I reviewed my profile this morning, I now have a new rating: 

My rating on Surkus

My rating on Surkus

Image: surkus

How to improve my rating? 

According to the Surkus website, attend more events. 

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August 18, 2017

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