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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 cat’s 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, Oct. 30


Dental-Expo St. Petersburg 2014 concludes today at Lenexpo. Welcoming specialists from throughout the federation, the forum is an opportunity for dentists to share tricks of the trade and peruse the most recent innovations in technology and equipment, with over 100 companies hocking their wares at the event.



Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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