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Press Office

11th July 2011

Social 'Petworking' - are you barking?!

Trend is on the rise as our furry friends become more popular than celebrities

Petplan, the UK's largest pet insurance provider, has revealed that over half of UK pet owners* are sharing photos of their pets online and, what's more, one in ten of all UK pets have their own Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube page with many becoming more popular than their human counterparts.

Since the launch of Facebook in 2004, more than 29 million users have signed up to the website** in the UK alone, with 9% giving their pet its own Facebook page. The social petworking trend looks set to continue with the rise of pet-only social networking sites such as Critter, Catster and DoggieDating. Pets are even trying their 'paw' at micro blogging and Twitter now has a dedicated pet feed.

To acknowledge this growing trend, Petplan has compiled a list of the most popular pets across social media, including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook:

Petplan's most popular pets on social networks

  1. Maru the cat - 6,011,610 channel views on YouTube
  2. Sockington the cat - 1,483,570 followers on Twitter
  3. Boo the dog - 1,329,095 'likes' on Facebook
  4. Casey and Sassy the cats - 591,652 channel views on YouTube
  5. Bizkit the sleepwalking dog - 393,993 channel views on YouTube
  6. Beast the dog - 142,810 'likes' Facebook
  7. Cooper the cat - 71,274 'likes' on Facebook
  8. Professor Meowington the cat - 57,898 'likes' on Facebook
  9. Romeo the cat - 9,341 followers on Twitter
  10. Toby the cat - 3,166 followers on Twitter

Maru, the cat from Japan with a penchant for jumping into cardboard boxes, has been crowned the most popular pet on YouTube with over 6 million people tuning in to see the pouncing puss and his latest antics. He has even trumped record-breaking pop sensation, Adele, who only has 2,546,954 channel views on YouTube.

Similarly, Sockington the cat, who regularly prowls Twitter, has notched up an impressive 1,483,570 followers putting him well ahead of The Apprentice's Lord Sugar, who has only 706,783 followers.

Boo the dog has been named Petplan's most favoured dog on Facebook. He has over 1.3 million 'likes', making him more popular than Katie Price and Kerry Katona combined. With over 10,000 times as many friends as the average facebook user, who has approximately 130 friends**, Boo is a Facebook phenomenon.

Neil Brettell, Director of Petplan comments: "This new social petworking trend is further proof of the UK's love of their pets and with our mutts and moggies becoming more popular than celebrities on Facebook and other social networking sites, we predict this trend is only going to get bigger."

Stephen Davies, social media specialist, adds, "As social networking plays an increasingly important role in our lives, it's only natural that our pets become part of the phenomenon too. We use sites like Facebook and Twitter as an extension of our real-world selves and when we think of our pets as part of the family we want them involved too."

"Animals in social media have long been a winning combination. You only have to look at how massively popular pet blogs and videos are to see there is an insatiable pet demand online."

Like Petplan on Facebook follow them on Twitter.

To view Petplan's award winning insurance policies, visit www.petplan.co.uk.

*Statistic from the Petplan Pet Census, which surveyed over 10,000 respondents **Facebook statistics 2011.

Notes to editors

Petplan is the largest pet insurance provider in the world, offering comprehensive lifetime pet insurance cover for dogs, cats and rabbits.

Established more than 30 years ago, it is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.

For more information about Petplan cat insurance, please visit:
www.petplan.co.uk/factsheets/why-take-out-cat-insurance.asp

For more information about Petplan dog insurance, please visit:
www.petplan.co.uk/factsheets/why-take-out-dog-insurance.asp