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Animals Add New Dimension to Social Networking

Published: October 2, 2013 (Issue # 1780)



  • Boo is a 7 year-old Pomeranian who first shot to international fame in May 2009.
    Photo: facebook.com

  • Giant George is 109 centimeters tall and, until 2012, was the tallest dog in the world.
    Photo: facebook.com

  • Nonja, with just over 75,000 followers, is 37 years old and lives at the Vienna Zoo.
    Photo: facebook.com

  • Grumpy Cat became an Internet sensation after her photo was posted on Reddit.
    Photo: facebook.com

Around 23 million of the estimated 955 million Facebook profiles belong to animals, according to a Facebook report from 2012. One in 10 of all U.K. pets have their own Twitter account, YouTube channel or social network page. And while videos are mostly a cats prerogative, more dogs are likely to have a social networking profile, reveals research by Yummypets, a social network for pet owners established in France with more than 150,000 members from all over the world.

Social networks for fluffy users have become more and more widespread. As expected, pet owners are very passionate about their animals and are happy to interact with each other. Taking these conversations to a social network seems a natural next step.

The emergence of a social network for animals is a natural development of the idea, said psychologist Natalya Seiler. Human progress is mostly based on an idea that is conceived by one person within a group of people. Others just adopt this idea and then come up with their own variations on the idea.

For example, one visionary had the idea of creating a social network. And today we can observe more and more versions of this idea being developed social networks for classmates, for professional contacts, for people who want to get acquainted and, finally, for pet lovers.

There are about 20 websites from various countries that allow users to create profile pages for pets, exchange photos and join different groups. A typical homepage for a pet on these websites includes a familiar set of personal data profile pictures, photos and videos, status updates and commenting between pets and their owners. Pets can also befriend one another.

Pet parents enjoy having a place for unlimited uploads of pet photos and videos alongside knowledge and know-how from the community, which creates a supportive network of like-minded animal lovers, said Charlie Léon, Community Manager, YummyPets, speaking to the St. Petersburg Times.

There is Petigram, a version of Instagram; specialized networks like Catmoji, Catster or Dogster and general sites for all kind of pets from guinea pigs to horses, like MySocialPetwork or A4Animals. (The latter is considered to be the first social network for animals in the world.)

The idea for such a network was thought up following the death of a Labrador named Ben, a dog which belonged to Martin Bowen, the founder of A4Animals. Bowen suffered greatly and wanted to commemorate the life he shared with his pet.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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