Cats have ranks like dogs

Social media - The era of cat videos is coming to an end - dogs are the new stars on the net

The era of cat videos is coming to an end - dogs are the new stars on the net

Dogs are outperforming cats on social media right now. They are the new stars - precisely because they are more boring.

Who is the most popular pet on Instagram? Grumpy Cat? Wrong, the famous cat has long been dethroned. With its 2.5 million followers, it is now only in fifth place. The current front runner, on the other hand, has almost 9 million followers. It's Jiff, also known as Jiffpom, where "Pom" is the abbreviation for "Pomeranian", in German: dwarf spitz. Jiff is like a teddy bear and behaves somewhat like that. His specialty: looking cozy. He can be dressed with a T-shirt and sunglasses. Oh yes, and he holds two world records for walking on two legs, one for the fastest ten meters on hind legs and the one for the fastest five meters on front legs.

This is not spectacular compared to the cats who chase laser pointers in videos, throw drinking glasses on the floor, and let themselves be scared to death by the cucumbers lying next to them. Compared to cats, the dogs are pretty good on social media. While Grumpy Cat looks grumpy at the world, Jiff panted harmlessly into the camera with his tongue hanging out.

And Jiff isn't the only one. The cat Nala follows in second place of the four-legged Instagram stars, but the third on the podium is already a dog again: Doug the pug, who also doesn't do much more than get dressed. In total, there are six dogs in the top ten pets on Instagram, as well as a tame fox, which is also a dog from a biological point of view. Cats, on the other hand, only made it into the top three ranks. This is a noticeable change from previous years when social media was dominated by cats.

Away from the nerd character

"Dogs have taken over the Internet," the New York Times headlined in a recent video. And provided an explanation: Cats embody chaos without causing serious damage. They therefore fit in with those years when the internet was viewed as an anarchic playground for all sorts of weird activities, far removed from real worries. Dogs that obediently and docile follow the commands of their owners, on the other hand, reflect the current trend on the Internet towards tidy, clear websites that are at the service of people.

For a change, a few funny cats in the video:

The German internet sociologist Stephan Humer thinks this explanation is plausible. "The phenomenon fits in with aspects that I noticed in other contexts," he says. "The cat content came up in the early years of the internet, when it was still shaped by a nerd culture." These tech-savvy people all had a similar character, so that their own cultural phenomena could arise on the Internet, far from authorities and other authorities. With them the conservative, loyal image of the dogs was not popular. In the meantime, however, a great many people use the Internet who no longer share the ideas of early digital culture. The Internet has become mainstream and has broken away from the cultural influences of nerds.

Less google searches for "funny cat"

Humer also suspects that many Internet users have simply had enough of cat videos. "Anyone who has been online for years has seen all kinds of cat content," he says.

This fits in with the search query numbers that Google is tracking. Searches for the term “funny cat” have been decreasing steadily since around 2016. Those who say “cute dogs”, on the other hand, are still gaining weight and have overtaken cats by the end of 2017.

However, there are regional differences. Because despite the impressive Instagram following: Who in this country already knows the Zwergspitz Jiff? He is nowhere near as famous as Grumpy Cat. This coincides with the experience of the video team at the Swiss news portal Watson. Cats are still the queens of online videos, they say. But dogs are catching up.

One of those videos that scores with dogs is that of the singer Katy Perry for the song "Dark Horse". There is no horse or cat, although the video is inspired by ancient Egypt, where cats played an important role. Rather, it is Jiff himself who makes an appearance with the star singer. He does what he does best: look cute and walk on hind legs. The video was viewed over two billion times.