pets have conquered social networks - THECHOWANIECS.COM

pets have conquered social networks

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Instagram, TikTok, Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp… Social networks and instant messaging have invaded our daily lives for better and for worse. Because with them appeared practices, blessed by some but hated by others, revealing of our society. “L’Obs” dissects them here.

Pierre-Prosper the dachshund, Linguini the snake, Milo the cat, Maxime the corgi… Pet accounts have invaded social networks, ready to soften us and make us laugh with the soft paws of a cute kitten, the touching gaze of a puppy who has made a mistake or the joy of a dog who obeys his master’s finger and eye.

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Some have even become real stars, with thousands or even millions of subscribers, like Le Ptit Milo, a cat who will soon win the YouTube trophy thanks to his 100,000 subscribers, and is also a hit on TikTok (620,000 subscribers) and Instagram (65,000 subscribers).

“When we picked up Milo, we wanted to send photos and videos. We put some videos on TikTok. We saw that it was liked, especially the fact of making the cat speak. We took about 200,000 subscribers in two months.tells “l’Obs” Maxime and Charline, the two thirty-year-old creators of this account since August 2021.

Instagram – A post shared by Milo 🌳🥝 (@leptitmilo)

Pauline, a 34-year-old artist designer, created the account of Pierre-Prosper, almost 500 subscribers on Instagram, her dachshund in the Isabelle dress. “When he arrived home, we needed to talk about it all the time, to send photos all the time”, she says. So in order not to spam her friends every day, she decides to turn to Instagram. “There is a bit of a fashion thing, people need to see comforting things in their lives”continues Pauline.

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Instagram – A post shared by Pierre-Prosper the sausage 🌭 (@pierre_prosper_the_sausage)

Express yourself through your pet

Creating a profile for your pet on social networks is not trivial. For Véronique Servais, psychologist, doctor in arts and sciences of communication at the University of Liège, they have a ” figure of a representative or even an icon” of the person or family behind the Instagram account. “We identify a lot with our animals, they are part of us. It’s also a way of saying things about yourself, of saying things about yourself that you couldn’t express otherwise but that the animal allows you to manifest.she analyzes with “the Obs”.

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This is what Pauline explains. The jokes they slip into Pierre-Prosper’s mouth “I wouldn’t dare to do them on my personal Instagram account”, she confides. It can also be a way to meet other people to exchange advice on dog accessories or kibble. “Often I use his Instagram account when I’m looking for information for him, a kibble brand or other. The algorithm there is different from my personal account”adds Pauline.

Community manager of their cat

From a fun photo album, the animal Insta account can turn into a real business. “At first I received brand proposals (necklaces, bandanas, toys, etc.). I only accepted one partnership for a brand of food that I liked,” says Pauline who says she spends about 45 minutes a week on Pierre-Prosper’s account.

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Charline, for her part, had to create her own micro-enterprise to deal with Milo’s success. As for Maxime, he devoted himself more to video editing, and both gradually professionalized this activity until “a third salary” almost every month. The couple spends an average of 2 to 3 hours a day working on Milo’s social networks: real work that deserves remuneration, they believe. “At first, when it exploded, I was a little stressed”confides Charline. “It’s the internet that scares”, adds Maxime. Since then, they have followed advice, learned to negotiate and no longer accept the principle of “gifting” (a gift from a brand in exchange for visibility).

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When May created the Instagram account of Malcom, her dog, six years ago, she did not yet know that it was going to become her profession. Today, May defines herself as a “petfluencer” – contraction of “ fart », pet in English, and “influencer” – full time. She started advising animal brands in a communication agency and is in charge of the link between animal Instagram accounts and brands. Need an ad for croquettes? This sacred of Burma will be perfect to promote it. A new harness to promote? It will go well with the complexion of this cocker spaniel.

“Increasingly, brands are putting communication budgets on “petfluencers”. It is a market that is taking, she explains. Today, the agency works with nearly 420 animal influencers. Among them, the former Miss Normandy 2019, Anaëlle Chrétien, Delphine Wespiser ex-miss France 2012 or the TV host Christophe Beaugrand.

The risk of deviations

But do animals really agree to become stars of the Web? “We assume that they agree to be photographed, to be the subject of these diverse and varied narratives. There is no legal obligation”, warns Véronique Servais. For the researcher, the animal can quickly resemble ” a product “. “We are always in this in-between: there is the living being that we love with whom we share things and the object of consumption”she nuances.

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On the Instagram of the four-legged friends, “there are drifts like everywhere”, admits May. Charline and Maxime try “to convey educational messages” with their new notoriety. “We will try to show that it is possible to walk a cat with a harness”says Maxime.

At the agency, May ensures that animal welfare is respected. In the United States or Asia, some owners dress up their pets or take them around in strollers to create buzz and gain subscribers. “It makes the animals very uncomfortable”, slice May. But to date, no regulations exist to avoid abuses.

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