Petworking! Yes, that’s right, social media networks for pet-lovers, owners, and their pets. With over 79.7 million pet owners in North America alone, there is clearly a strong social community centered around pets.
As part of my niche interest in social media, I wanted to highlight the activities that the online pet-owner community naturally bonds over: daily walks, monthly breed meet-ups, pet-shows, and sharing tips/tricks on online forums. This community is very passionate about their pets! Since 2012 many pet owners have naturally transitioned these conversations to take form on social networking sites.
Pet social networks have the ability to not only provide forums, resources, and expert help but they also provide owners with the ability to showcase their pets by developing pet profiles, creating groups, exchanging photos and videos. In addition to these social profiles, many of these networks have integrated gamification to increase the interaction, self-expression, entertainment, and superior benefits for their membership.
According to blogger Jennifer McGuiggan, some petworking sites are less focused on connecting people than on showcasing the pets themselves through photos, profiles, and blogs written from the pets' perspectives. One great example of this is Petentials, which is known as the "Internet for Pets" and focuses on the animals rather than the owners.
Petworking sites are also a great option to join even if you’re not a pet-owner, but if your profession is within the pet industry.
Here are my top picks for online petworking sites for 2016:
Bark’N’Borrow is a mobile app currently only for iOS. Create a pet profile by uploading fun photos, sniff out local friends for play-dates, message and chat with other dog-lovers, and get access to 24/7 advice from certified vet technicians.
Moofio is a mobile app community exclusively for pets and pet lovers. Featuring profile creation, adoption features, lost and found application, and so much more. Download in the app store.
Pack is the leading community for people who love their dogs. Design a beautiful homepage for your dog and meet other dogs in your breed and location.
DogBook unites dog lovers everywhere in an online social community. Create profile accounts, share photos, make new friends and share things about your dog(s).