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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

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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