Do you follow animal accounts on social networks? If so, you are one of the hundreds of millions of Internet users to do so. “These are the most consumed contents on the Web because they release a lot of emotion. They are also the most shared”, tells us Yoann Latouche, television columnist and founder of a communication agency dedicated to animals.
Marnie, for example, is the most famous New York dog on Instagram: he has more than 1.6 million subscribers!
In France, malcolm_the_akita is the only certified dog (that is to say with a verified profile) on the same social network. On the cat side, we think of the success of Grumpy cat, the most famous millionaire cat on the Internet, who died in 2019, or, in France, that of Narnia, a cat called “double-face”. “I had met him as a baby in a cat show. I had told his mistress, Stéphanie, to create an Instagram account for him because I thought he was going to be a hit with his very particular physique, ”continues Yoann Latouche. Result: certification and 250,000 subscribers. His profile even interested Japanese television, which made the trip to meet him.
“Cute” animals are popular
” It’s not a secret. “Cute” animals are popular on the internet where they become real stars. People interact with them as if it were their own”, explains the expert again. This is how this success arouses the greed of companies and brands and why some “petfluencers” (“pet” means pet in English) create a real business that remains in the world of pets… at least in France.
“Exhibiting an animal on Instagram is a real business. But in France, they are not much to benefit from it. A few masters could make a living from it, but they can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Some manage to make lots of partnerships: they do not pay for the croquettes or the accessories supported by brands but cannot buy a villa on the Côte d’Azur for all that! “, nuance Yoann Latouche.
The “petfluencers” who intended to live off this have no future, according to the latter. “When the owners are parenting in the idea that it’s going to be a hit, often it doesn’t work. It only works when the account is authentic and there is a good relationship between the owner and his animal. We are able to know immediately if the dog or the cat is not comfortable, if it is forced and that there is no chemistry with its master”.
When the animal becomes a fairground beast
In Asia and the United States, animals are disguised and humanized, and brands are snapping them up. There is a higher engagement rate. “We see dogs with varnish, cats in strollers… It’s a form of abuse. It’s scandalous that agencies are working on this, ”laments Yoann Latouche. “These are people in need of children who staged their animal as if it were their baby”.
In France, still according to the expert, the tendency to humanize the animal does not please. “There is a more moderate side. People can be shocked. In our country, communication agencies to manage the talents of animals are very rare. There is no “petfluencers” festival either…. but until when? No regulations on this practice exist to date. But “it will eventually happen”, he predicts…