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Social Startups: Klooff Takes the 'Pet' Peeve Out of Social Media

We’ve all the heard the famous quote, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”  Social media is not immune to this classic case of “too much of a good thing.” Despite the personal and brand benefits social media networks provide, it can also become extremely annoying.

We're friends on Facebook, but that does not mean I need my news feed bombarded with selfies.  Simply because we met at a conference doesn’t mean I want to play Farmville.  Even the cutest pet pictures get old.

That’s exactly what ran through the mind of Alejandro Russo, CEO and co-founder of Klooff, the leading pet photo and video-sharing startup.  “I started seeing all these pet photos appear on my Facebook feed.  I thought, ‘How come there's no place where pet parents can do this freely without bothering their friends?’”

Klooff allows users to create profiles (breed, gender, age) for their pets of any kind, similar to Facebook and Instagram.  Except the focus is on users’ pets, complete with unlimited photos and seven-second videos that can be uploaded, shared, and tagged across social media platforms—with discretion, of course.

The nice thing is that if you spare your friends and mostly post your little critter on Klooff, fellow pet parents and non-pet parents around the world can like, share, comment, and vote on your furry friend.  No need for the app or a log-in to enjoy the photos on the website.  So whether your pet has one fan or 1,000, anyone can jump on, browse, and vote.  The community-curated voting system surfaces up the best photos to the Daily Top 10 List, which are published on Klooff’s Facebook page and website.

“There's a worldwide interest for Klooff, says Russo, who founded the platform for pets with Jane Chung and Mario Encina in July 2012.  “Brands can leverage our platform by getting exposure in front of our large, highly engaged audience.  “We've executed several campaigns with pet-related companies that have been very happy with the results, seeing positive engagement around their brand.  We've started to work with non-pet companies as well to see how our audience responds, and I'm optimistic about these partnerships.”

Klooff advertising and brand partnerships should be hopeful, too.  Since its TechStars NYC class of 2013 and launching in March 2014, the free app (iOS and Android) has hit more than one million worldwide users and expanded its Facebook fan base to more than one million.  Klooff has also been featured on CNN, CBS, TechCrunch, and ABC, among others.  And it was named one of 2013’s “Top 10 [New York] Startups to Watch For” by Time Inc.

“We're lucky to have an unlimited source of genuine, fun, and engaging content through our passionate community of pet parents,” says Russo, whose dogs, Nikki the Silky Terrier and Blue the Schnauzer, and Siamese cat Coco, each have more than 2,000 fans following their Klooff profiles.  “With 100 percent user-generated photos to choose from, our community and voting algorithms do a great job curating the best content.”

An upcoming release to be rolled out over the next few months will include a new, fun concept that Russo says will take the pet market by storm.  Perhaps we can look forward to it raining cats and dogs?  In the meantime, you can redirect your animal obsession on Klooff (download.klooff.com), and your friends and followers will thank you for it. It's more fun anyway than posting on non-pet specific social media outlets with its sections for various kinds of pet photos, such as Amazing Costumes, Birthday Brats, Sleeping Beauties, Football Fanatics, and even pet selfies.

"The beauty of this is that any pet has a chance to be famous, and social media allows us to venture into pet democracy for pet parents who don't have time to celebrify their pets," says Encina, referring to pet celebrities such as Grumpy Cat and Boo.  Chung says, "It works for the audience, too.  At the end of the day, when you're tired, you don't want to read another news headline.  You'd rather see something lighter, like cute pet photos."

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