Have you witnessed the phenomenon of social “petworking?”
Apparently, it’s pretty common. So common, in fact, that 10% of pets in the UK have social network accounts of their very own, ostensibly to keep up with the family and friends of their owners. However, the study was commissioned by animal insurer PetPlan, so the results could be a bit skewed.
PetPlan director Neil Brattell commented to press regarding the study that pets were becoming “more popular than celebrities” on social networks like Facebook and YouTube, and one consulted social media consultant opined:
“As social networking plays an increasingly important role in our lives, it’s only natural that our pets become part of the phenomenon, too. 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.”
While it’s not terribly surprising that some pet owners have taken the leap to keep friends abreast of their pets’ goings on on Facebook and Twitter, it also seems a bit like the fetal profiles set up on the networks- and most certainly a TOS violation in some cases, least of all because most pets are under the age of 13.
Have you friended a dog, cat or iguana on Facebook? Were you genuinely interested in connecting with the pet, or did you just want to protect a friend’s feelings?