By Raquel Reynolds
The popularity of animal focused accounts on the Internet is undeniable. They litter feeds of all forms of social media to the point where you can’t scroll without a picture of a cat popping up. On Instagram, estimates of popularity of animals can be based on hashtags. Instagram posts with the hashtag #pets itself has 33,046,280 posts attributed to it, while multiple variations including #dog have 148,326,927 or #cat at 124,822, 532 posts, and, assumedly, these numbers will keep increasing. These don’t even include the popular feeds starring animals like @marniethedog, @hameltthepiggy or @pumpkintheraccoon demonstrating the diversity of animal popularity—from typical house pets to more atypical ones.
Even Willamette has its share of Instagram pet celebrities. Daisy the corgi, at the account @daisypatchthecorgi managed by her human, junior Lauren Haky, is one example.
Lauren manages the account of her 18 pound corgi.
“I didn’t want one for myself cause I just don’t like posting pictures of myself. When I first got her, she was only seven weeks old and people kept asking me if I had an Instagram for her because they just wanted to [see her]…or asked if I had a snapchat for her or a Facebook for her, and I was like no. I just don’t.” She posts pictures of her because “she is just so cute,” Haky said.
Haky acknowledges that managing the account is not that hard since it only requires snapping candid photos of Daisy or having friends send them to her.
“I wanted an Instagram account but I had never wanted one of myself and, I don’t know, I was just never that into photography but then I became obsessed with my dog so I was like-this works,” said Haky.
Another local pet account, @Midnightthecat2006, belongs to Midnight and her owner, junior Aubryn Walters.
“Basically I was like my cats really cute and I don’t think I should spam my own Instagram with photos of my own cat that’s like kinda annoying and also I feel like I think I‘m really clever and I wanted to make funny captions from the point of view of my cat,” Walters said. So, it’s like the cat is running the Instagram.”
For managing the account, Walters had a bit of a different method of photography. Most of the photos of Midnight are quick photos that are not staged.
“I take a lot of photos of her when I go home and I have Snapchat photos and so I end up saving all of those and putting them on one at a time,” Walters says. “A lot of the pictures are of people trying to hold her and she’s jumping out of their arms which I think is really funny. It’s staged in that they are trying to take a nice photo, but the part that I like most about it is that she is shunning social media even now that she’s a social media star.”
But why are pet accounts so popular? “I don’t know honestly,” Haky admitted. “I think they’re just super cute and people go -oh that’s adorable then they click it and swipe past and continue on their social media.”
Many people deeply love animals. We all know someone who follows at least one pet related feed on Instagram, all following the lovely stylized, comforting pictures of our favorite animals.
“It gives them a slice of home because a lot of people who follow them are students and the people that I know that have Instagram accounts that are no longer in college don’t follow any pet accounts that I’m aware of. I think that it’s a comforting factor. They see a dog and go-cute dog reminds me of my dog,” Haky explains.
Walters said, “Animals are cuter than people and I would argue on a daily basis l would love to see a picture of an animal way more than a photo of a human cause I can see humans all the time.”