Bark, bark. Tweet, tweet.

Mattel

“Now even your Chihuahua can tweet.”

I kid you not, this is a headline currently found on CNN’s website.

Toy giant Mattel is launching a new product called “Puppy Tweets,” a device dog owners can fasten to their furry friends that will automatically update a Twitter account based on the dog’s activity. Possible tweets include, “I finally caught that tail I’ve been chasing and…OOUUUCHH!” and “Somedays you just gotta get your bark on.”

No, I’m not kidding.

As a person who offers strategic council to clients about social media for a living, I find something fundamentally wrong with a new canine-friendly product. To become an authority on Twitter, one must share information that is at least one of the following: 1) Useful (i.e. “ilili is a great choice for NYC Restaurant Week. You get HUGE portions!” or “Pinkberry is having a 2 for 1 deal today”) 2) Relevant (i.e. “Check out the top 10 YouTube videos from 2009 here: LINK”) 3) Unique (i.e. Check out my latest blog entry on this ridiculous pet product”).

It’s much easier to fall beneath the radar on Twitter if one only shares information that is mundane, irrelevant and/or unoriginal. I see the “Puppy Tweets” product doing just that.

Think about this concept of automatically generated tweets sent by your dog. First of all, the content is finite, as the folks over at Mattel have written the stock repository of potential tweets. The content has no potential to be useful, relevant or unique.

Second of all, the content is coming from a dog. Sure it might be funny the first time to see tweets from the perspective of a German Sheppard or Golden Retriever, but if this thing is going to shoot off updates every time the pooch drinks from his water bowl or chases after a squirrel I see the overkill kicking in sooner than later.

Lastly, I’d image the type of dog owner that would set up with Twitter account for their pet would be one of those people who walks their dog around Manhattan in a stroller and/or brings pictures of their puppy to dinner parties and talk about them like they are children.

Don’t get me wrong – I love dogs. But I do not need real-time updates from Fido included in my Twitter feed.

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9 Comments

Filed under Best Practices, Twitter

9 responses to “Bark, bark. Tweet, tweet.

  1. Brooke Winebrenner

    I agree, this product is silly. When I read your post I thought of another product I came across that allows for your shoes to tweet your every step. The sad thing is consumers will probably buy into these items, and for those of us that actually utilize Twitter to position or monitor as an authority through this platform will be stuck listening to Fido’s next bark and Jimbo’s next step.

    http://fashionablygeek.com/shoes/tweeting-shoes-prove-that-weve-lost-our-minds/

    • laurenbegley

      Wow, tweeting shoes. That’s rich. I too take pity in the poor saps who follow these consumers–their Twitter feeds are simply being bogged down with completely useless information. Thanks, Brooke!

  2. Connie

    I have a deaf Japanese Chin and I think that Puppy Tweets has great potential for a deaf dog and his owner. No, I don’t like the scripted tweets, but knowing that he is outside being active or in the house asleep could come in very useful in trying to find him via my iPhone with the Tweetie 2 app. Now if they would add a GPS locator, that would be super.

    • laurenbegley

      Interesting perspective, Connie. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Connie,

      That would actually be a fantastic, USEFUL idea… however, the Puppy Tweets messages are not at all relevant to what you’re dog is actually doing. It has a bunch of pre-written tweets that it randomly blasts… so, for example… your dog could be asleep on the couch, but Puppy Tweets might send a message from your dog saying he is outside chasing squirrels. They do make GPS collars for dog, which could be helpful for you! As for Puppy Tweets, as a dog with many followers on Twitter (@PrestonCasanova) I am offended that Mattel doesn’t give us enough credit to think up our own original Tweets… sigh. I feel sorry for the dogs whose owners are stupid enough to buy this… $29.99 goes a long away in dog treats, and could be much better spent otherwise!

  3. All I’m gonna say is “I did not see some of that coming” !!

  4. This is an awesome article, Ill be adding you to my list.

  5. I Just bookmarked your blog! I Have it right up there on my task bar 🙂 Thanks again for another awesome post. Restaurant Devon

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