Tech-savvy dogs and cats can now interact with their animal brethren on a new social network for pets.
YummyPets, a French site which already has around 150,000 users, launched in the UK on Friday. It is a free Facebook-style service for proud pet owners who want to post pictures and videos, and its creators are hoping 100,000 British people will sign up by the end of the year.
In addition to the status updates and instant messaging features that come with any social network site, it offers price comparisons on pet supplies, veterinary appointment reminders and memorial pages for deceased animals. There is a missing pet service, which has helped reunite owners with their animals following tip-offs from other YummyPets fans.
YummyPets founders Matthieu Glayrouse and Mathieu Chollon (both aged 30) have secured £1.3m in funding for their Bordeaux-based, 20-staff operation. Neither had experience in the pet industry, but they were old hands in the world of digital media.
“We're starting to monetise the site in the French market,” said Mr Glayrouse. “When someone comes to our site looking for a pet product we offer the best price and get a commission, and we have a consumer magazine sent to members with news and features that brands pay to be associated with. We're just like Facebook, but with a very specific target audience. We know, for example, that the average user has 1.6 pets.”
He said there was an even split between cats and dogs, with around 10,000 horses, rabbits and other animals. There is no conspicuous difference between French users and British users, he claimed, though we are fonder of uploading videos of our pets scampering about.