These Animals Do Social Media Better Than You

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Don't feel bad if a cat has way more Facebook friends than you. From Grumpy Cat to Dog Shaming, animals are totally winning the Internet and social media. (Photo courtesy Boo's Facebook page)
Don’t feel bad if a cat has way more Facebook friends than you. From Grumpy Cat to Boo, above, who has more than 16 million Facebook likes, animals are totally winning the Internet and social media. (Photo courtesy Boo’s Facebook page)

Animals are cute. Some are super cute. And some are a lot nicer to look at than their human counterparts. Maybe that’s why they’ve been so welcomed into the world of social media.

Yes, animals are everywhere. Especially online. Lolcats, Dog shamers and YouTube sensations all add to the hype, but there’s a more personalized breed that exists. One that runs with celebrity culture and attracts thousands — even millions — of followers. It’s a weird declaration, but one that seems to hold true: We’re now living in a world where animals do social media better than we humans do.

If you don’t believe me, just check out the numbers. There’s Boo, the “world’s cutest dog,” according to pop star Ke$ha, who has more than 16 million Facebook likes, Grumpy Cat (more than 7 million Facebook likes), Mark Zuckerberg’s dog Beast, who has more than 2 million likes, Internet archivist Jason Scott’s cat Sockington (more than 1 million Twitter followers), singer Ed Sheeran’s pet Graham the Kitten, singer Ed Sheeran’s pet, with 93,500 Twitter followers and Meredith Swift, Taylor Swift’s cat, who has more than 11,000 Facebook followers.

(Photo courtesy The Official Grumpy Cat Facebook page)
(Photo courtesy The Official Grumpy Cat Facebook page)

To put that into perspective, BBC News has 12.8 million Facebook likes — more than 3 million short of matching Boo the Pomeranian. Whole Foods has just over 1.5 million likes, which is more than 5 million less than Grumpy Cat. And Zuckerberg’s dog has beat out Sir Anthony Hopkins by more than 1 million likes.

According to The Telegraph, more than half of pet owners post about their animals on social networks, and one in 10 pets has a social-media profile. “As social networking plays an increasingly important role in our lives, it’s only natural that our pets become part of the phenomenon, too,” social-media specialist Stephen Davies told the U.K. publication. We use sites like Facebook and Twitter as an extension of our real-world selves, and when we think of our pets as part of the family we want them involved, too … There is an insatiable pet demand online.”

(Dogshaming.com photo)
(Photo courtesy DogShaming.com)

It’s not entirely unexpected that people are incorporating their pets into a space originally thought to be “human only.” But that’s not even the half of it. There are a number of social networks out there where human news comes second.

There’s PawsWay, which was launched back in 2008 as a means of bringing pet lovers together to “learn, discover, and celebrate the world of cats and dogs.” There’s the UK-based Yummypets, the No. 1 social “petwork” in France that allows pet “parents” to create profiles for their animals, browse classified ads, manage vet appointments, put up “missing pet” notices and join discussion forums based on animal breeds. And there’s also CuteOverload, which started it all. Though, the social-networking scene has expanded far beyond anonymous pictures and videos. Now there are profiles involved, too.

It may have started out as a cute, silly trend, but the pet craze has evolved into big business for some, expanding communities for others, hell, some people have even found love based on their pet obsession. It’s certainly a fad born for this generation, and one that allows pet enthusiasts to rejoice knowing that the digital space has a place for just about anything.

Carrie Weisman is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine

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