Social petworking booms
It is no longer just humans who are enjoying YouTube, Facebook and Twitter
A new study, commissioned by PetPlan Insurance, has suggested that it is not just humans that are enjoying fun and celebrity on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Approximately one in ten of all UK pets have their own Facebook page, Twitter profile or YouTube channel, and over 50% of UK pet owners are sharing photos of their pets online.
Dedicated sites catering to pets, with names such as Critter, Catster and Doggie Dating have emerged in response to the surge of pets online. Some companies have set up entire websites devoted specifically to their pets, many of which have raised money for rescue centres or animal welfare charities.
A cat called Romeo, based in New York, and his owner have raised over $50,000 in two years and amassed nearly 10,000 followers.
Top of the social petworking craze is a cat called Maru, who has gathered over 6 million views on YouTube since joining in 2008.
Maru, described by his owner as "a little bumbling and a little awkward", has been filmed embarrassing himself in nearly 200 videos, and has attracted almost 140,000 subscribers who have signed up to be notified of his next adventure.
Other animals with huge followings online include those belonging to celebrities, such as Mark Zuckerberg's pet dog Beast, as well as those who have become famous without the help of such celebrity endorsement.
One dog on Facebook, called Boo is liked by nearly 1.4million people and is officially categorised as a ‘Public figure'.
Boo will shortly have a book published about himself called "Boo: the Life of the World's Cutest Dog".
Cats have also got in on the act, with Sockington the cat, who has nearly 1.5million Twitter followers and has tweeted nearly 8,000 times.