We’ve all heard of WeRateDogs, possibly the best Twitter account in the world.
We’ve all marvelled at the furry little doggos that love a boop and a bit of attention, but what must it be like to run such a Twitter account that has racked up 4 million followers in its short life?
UNILAD spoke to the owner of WeRateDogs, Matt Nelson, to ask him all sorts of questions about his favourite furry friends and how Twitter has changed his life.
This is Olli. He's performing a bloop (speedy blep). Hoping his eyes distract you from the tongue to pizza encroachment. 12/10 wily as h*ck pic.twitter.com/gFLLxgufZ8
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) August 6, 2017
Matt is a 20-year-old from Charleston, West Virginia, who was due to attend college before he started the account.
His degree, Professional Golf Management (yes it’s a real thing), was meant to set up a career for the rest of his life.
But Twitter-fate had other ideas.
I was on Twitter for about two years before I started the account. I got about 10,000 followers just from doing jokes and asked whether I should make an account that rates dogs.
There was overwhelming optimism so I just did it.
This is Phineas. He's a mystical boy. Only ever appears in the hole of a donut. 13/10 pic.twitter.com/MgUWQ76dJU
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) August 1, 2017
Aside from its near four million strong following, WeRateDogs also boasts a number of celebrity and brand interactions who, in an attempt to be cool on Twitter, recognise the page’s immense popularity.
Names such as J.K. Rowling and Lin Manuel Miranda have conversed with Matt both in public and in Direct Messages.
But the main thing for Matt is still the dogs. There are a few dogs that Matt remembers as important to the page, but he won’t call them the best.
All dogs come first, and they’re all the best dogs. But some dogs just stick out as being the ones that really helped the page grow.
This is Pipsy. He is a fluffball. Enjoys traveling the sea & getting tangled in leash. 12/10 I would kill for Pipsy pic.twitter.com/h9R0EwKd9X
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) November 19, 2015
One was a dog named Pipsy, at least I named him Pipsy. Pipsy gained a massive following, so I had to find the original owners of the picture.
That took one year but I finally managed to do it. That was one of the first that really blew up.
There’s been a few that have gone viral. There was this dog that is called Kenneth that is framed inside of a bubble and I created a diary from his perspective.
This is Kenneth. He's stuck in a bubble. 10/10 hang in there Kenneth pic.twitter.com/uQt37xlYMJ
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) December 14, 2015
But the most pupular (yes, pupular) doggo so far is Lennon, who was helping out at a Women’s March.
The Twitter account is so pupular now that Matt is on the cusp of making it his full time job. He said that he is basically spending 90 per cent of his time on the page anyway, which isn’t good for his internship.
Matt is sent some viral content before it blows up, and it seems he has a hound’s nose (sorry) for great comedy.
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) January 21, 2017
So much so that he is about to publish a book on the WeRateDogs brand.
Within the month, We Rate Dogs can be 100 per cent of my focus, and I want to expand. At the moment, Instagram and Facebook are just reposts of the stuff from Twitter.
Which is fine, because most of the people who follow on those only follow us there, but each platform has a different opportunity for great stuff.
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) July 29, 2017
We asked him the most important question of all, whether there is going to be a WeRateCats. It was a solid ‘no’.
Matt said that there are a few WeRateCats accounts that just ‘copy’ the content that he makes for WeRateDogs.
But Matt is unsure whether he could make a successful account about anything other than dogs, which we think is obvious because dogs are better than cats.
When you watch your owner call another dog a good boy but then they turn back to you and say you're a great boy. 13/10 pic.twitter.com/v0nONBcwxq
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) July 28, 2017
But handling such a big Twitter account has had it’s negatives, said Matt.
He said that catering to such a large audience now affects what he can say without offending people.
He’s even created a separate account to allow him to be more creatively fulfilled.
This is Maya. She's very shy. Rarely leaves her cup. 13/10 would find her an environment to thrive in pic.twitter.com/I6oNy0CgiT
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) July 17, 2017
Matt confessed there have been incidents he ‘handled poorly’ when someone was offended by his Twitter, but he now admits that his reactions were just ‘ignorance and defensiveness’.
After our conversation I mentally kicked myself for not asking the most important question of all: how many dogs does he get to see?
I reached back out to him to rectify my colossal mistake. Matt’s answer was not braggy but it has definitely left me with some major questions.
Viewer discretion advised. This is Jimbo. He will rip ur finger right h*ckin off. Other dog clearly an accessory. 12/10 pls pet with caution pic.twitter.com/BuveP0uMF1
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) July 14, 2017
I get to see my fair share of dogs. I’ve only done a few public events where I’d get to meet more than the average person.
And no, it hasn’t gotten boring yet and I don’t think it ever will.
This really begs the question – how many dogs is an average number of dogs, and where are these public events?