Published: 22nd Jun 2016
Britons shared more than 3.8 million photos and videos of cats online per day in 2013, new research has revealed.
A study by Three found cat content is now more popular on social media than selfies - photos people have taken of themselves - with only 1.4 million of these images being shared on a daily basis.
In addition to sharing pictures and videos of their cats, some 350,000 individuals have set up an actual social media account for their pet.
Lianne Norry, director of brand and communications at Three UK, said: "It's clear from our research that we love seeing and sharing funny or cute pet pictures, videos and memes online."
"‘Social petworking’ has now become an online phenomenon with our big love for cats really fuelling this trend," she added.
Some 15 per cent of the people who share cat content said they have done so in the hope of becoming famous.
Such individuals aim to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Grumpy Cat - a feline with a particularly glum expression - which has received 14.5 million views on YouTube since 2012 and even featured in a Hollywood film.
Daniel Fisher, chief operating officer at Viral Spiral - which carried out the research on Three's behalf - said cat content that mirrors human characteristics is always particularly popular.
"The vast majority of cat videos online are cute, but the superstars are the ones who are hilarious, make us smile and want to share," he stated.
Viral Spiral and Three's research is further evidence of the growing popularity and influence of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The two platforms have more than 1.5 billion active users combined, which is over 20 per cent of the world population.
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