As you may have heard, cats rule the internet. Images and videos make up some of the most viewed content on the web and as a result, cats have even been dubbed the unofficial mascots of the internet.
But something is happening. The world is forever changing and evolving. Advertisers try to predict these changes by analyzing Google Trends, conducting social listening, draw comparisons, and more techniques to see how their market is evolving.
Who truly rules the internet? That’s what we wanted to find out! We can all agree that both dog and cat content is great to see online – cats with their mysterious, sometimes chaotic ways, and dogs just wanting the love and affection of their humans. Of course. Who can resist a good dog or cat video? Today, we are talking about animal content in the digital space, and the rise of the ‘good bois’.
Let’s start with Google trends. It’s easy enough to compare searches with the keywords dogs vs cats. The data shows that dogs have actually had a higher number of searches since 2004.
Even more surprising was looking at the search popularity across all countries. Searches about dogs are much more popular than cats in over 85% of countries The top 5 countries being Vietnam, the US, The UK, Australia, and Costa Rica (Canada is in the top 10 as well)
Top Related Searches
Among the top searches about cats is often related to what they like or don’t like;
- Why do cats like boxes
- What are cats scared of cucumbers
- Why do cats hate water
And by far for dogs, the most popular searches are about what they lick or put in their mouths;
- Why does my dog lick me
- Why does my dog lick my feet
- Why does my dog lick so much
- Why does my dog eat poop
Here’s a breakdown of some of the top searches, on the left for cats and on the right for dogs. We’re obviously still trying to learn more about our beloved pets and all their mysterious ways.
Of course, we can’t base internet popularity solely on Google searches since so much our internet culture comes from social media, which is where social listening comes into play.
Let’s take a look at Instagram next. Pet accounts on Instagram have risen in popularity since the early days of Grumpy Cat. Today, some ‘pet influencers’ make upwards of $2,000 for an endorsed post! If we look at some of the most popular pet-related Instagram accounts.
As you can see, almost half are dog-related, while cats come in at a close second with 36%. Some of the biggest cat accounts include
And the most popular dog accounts
To put that into perspective, Jiffpon has more followers than our beloved Tom Hanks (who has 9.7m followers.)
Looking at Reddit next, one of the hotspots to enjoy pet photos is the subreddit r/aww. In this subreddit, data shows that submissions about dogs surpassed cats in 2010, and has continued to rise ever since.
Since 2008, when the subreddit was created, the percentage of the top 100 posts featuring dogs has tripled, while cats numbers have actually declined.
Last, but certainly not least, we need to look at Youtube’s trends where searches for dog videos surpassed searches for cat videos in 2012 and 2014, and has remained higher ever since.
So, what does it all mean? Why have kitties lost the coveted spot as the King/Queen? Of course, the internet has some theories on the matter.
Theory number 1 – The demographics online have changed since the earlier days of the internet.
The earliest online culture came from early internet users, mostly tech-savvy people were the ones uploading content. Stereotypically, less social and therefore they must have been more interested in the aloof, low maintenance nature of cats. Cats may have ruled the early days of the internet because most people using the web at the time identified more with cats, and, therefore, uploaded more cat content.
Theory number 2 – The rise of smartphones
Some people say that Cats’ personalities were better-suited to still images, whereas dogs are best captured in motion. As more and more people started getting smartphones and the ability to take video. The most popular ‘I can has cheezburger’ lolcatz memes were being replaced by people filming their dogs doing cute things more and more often while they were out and about on walks or anywhere they were bringing their dogs.
Theory number 3 – Dogs are good for business
Cats used to represent the lawless days of the internet when there were fewer rules and internet etiquette. Now that websites are more controlled with more restrictions and seemingly more business-run. Some people say that naturally dogs being more trainable, posable and made to cooperate for a camera suit this more corporate-run world of the internet.
Theory number 4 – Rise in global anxiety
Some people have made a correlation between these anxiety-ridden times with the popularity of dog content online saying that people need order in a chaotic world on social media. They say that perhaps people could be seeking the loyal, unfaltering loving gaze of the dog over the sassiness and poise of a cat.
Whatever the reason pet-centric content became wildly popular on social media at all, regardless if it’s cat or dog content, we’re just happy it blessed the internet world and hope it’s here to stay!
Graphs sourced from https://whydocatsanddogs.com/dogs