Having perhaps tired of the cutthroat competition for human users, one new Korean social media site is going for a largely untapped demographic — household pets.
Launching in Beta at the end of last month, Petloves.me replaces human profiles with those of dogs and cats (and, presumably, any other type of pet). Though the service doesn’t, sadly, allow the beasts to use the service themselves, owners can create a profile for their pet — including breed, age and sex — and then communicate on its behalf in the comments thread below. If visitors approve, they can click on the Yeppeoyo! (“It’s pretty!”) button and leave a message.
Kim Tae-yeon, the boss of Petloves.me creator User Story Lab, said:
After analysing Tweets on Tweetmix, we discovered that there was an awful lot of chatter about dogs. People were producing a lot of information about their pet dogs, so we thought there would be a lot of demand for a fun social media service where people [with similar interests] could gather.
The site is very social-media friendly, allowing users to regale their followers on Facebook, Twitter and me2DAY with constant status updates for their pets. Though the service currently only lets user post simple profiles of their pets, from the 25th of this month, they will also, apparently, be able to have full, real-time homepages and feeds a la Facebook and Twitter.
Even more impressively, Petloves.me will soon have its very own location-based service, which — instead of “checking in” — will allow the pets to “mark their territory” every time they visit somewhere. When they do this, the app will inform users who else is walking their pet nearby and how many people in the vicinity have a beast of the same breed. Users will be able to swap pet talk via the LBS, with a list of places the pet has visited also added to its profile.
In case you’re wondering, this is certainly not the first attempt at social networking for pets. A host of comedy Twitter accounts for animals has drawn in hundreds of thousands of followers (in some cases, more than news networks), and as far back as 2009, some bright spark in the US started a social network for pets called Cute as Hell (since renamed Cuteness.com).
From what I can gather, Cuteness.com failed to really catch on in the States. But with its mix of tech, cutesy and social networking, might the trick find a readier audience over here?
UPDATE: I might have known that my animal-worshipping homeland would be a world leader in pet social media. According to this Telegraph story, one in 10 UK pets has its own Facebook page.
And while we’re on the topic of new media moggies, here’s YouTube superstar Maru: