We humans LOVE our pets.
We’re owning more of them: 68% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 82.5 millions homes and, in Canada, over half of Canadian households own at least one pet for an estimated 26 million pets.
We’re spending more on them: in the US, spending on pets has tripled in the past 20 years to an estimated $58.51 billion in 2014 and, in Canada alone, we spent $6.6 billion in 2013.
But the most gob-smacking trend that is happening in the world of pets is social media.
In fact, there are estimated to be around 23 million social media accounts set up as profiles for animals.
Of course, the animals themselves aren’t running the accounts, but many of these accounts have more followers than humans and brands.
The inaugural study in the Exploring Digital Cultures series takes a deeper look into the phenomenon of pets as influencers. We look into who the influencers are, what spurred them to begin posting, how did they grow their audience, are they cashing in on this new found fame, who are their followers and why do people follow them? What is it that is so compelling that millions of people follow these fake accounts – fully knowing that it isn’t the dogs and cats themselves doing the posting. We also look at the way some of these influencers are working with brands and where the industry is going.