Dogs up and down the country are worrying about pictures of them looking ‘ruff’ circulating on social media, as the UK’s first social commerce ‘petworking’ platform is set to launch in August 2015.
From chihuahuas to chinchillas, every pet has a story to tell and an adventure to share. And now, with the help of the new social ‘petworking’ concept Petbu, they can.
Petbu will provide a social platform for users to share content and pictures with other pet owners and make new friends (of both the four-legged and two-legged variety). They will also be able to purchase the latest pet accessories and products from Petbu’s own e-commerce platform, and keep up-to-date with what’s hot in the furry fashion world by seeing what other pet users have purchased online. The platform is fully compatible with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, meaning users can use Petbu to share content with their existing social media contacts. In essence, Petbu works as a central management system, allowing users to update their pet profiles across multiple social media sites both online and via mobile.
And the platform is likely to get pet owners purring; More than half of the UK’s pet owners share pictures of their pets online, and one in ten pets actually has their own social media profile*. Similarly, it is estimated that 13 million (nearly half) of the UK’s households have pets and last year the UK’s pet industry was estimated to be worth £2.7 billion pounds annually.
Developed as an internal start-up by the Venturespring team, a venture development studio which links talented start-ups with bluechip brands such as Vodafone, the Petbu team is currently in talks with four major FMCG brands who are interested in selling their products through the social platform, and in supporting its development as a long-term sales tool.
Cassandra Harris, Managing Director of both Venturespring and Petbu, said: “If the plethora of dog pictures on Facebook tells us one thing, it’s this: people love pets, and they love sharing content about them online.
“There is an ever growing appetite for showcasing the unique personalities of our pets online, yet no popular social petworking space exists. Crucially, there is also no popular site for merchants to target this very lucrative market. This is the gap in the market that Petbu will fill, and we already have several big brands interested in coming on board.”
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