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SmellMe: a Chinese social network for pets

Does your pet need a friend? How about several? Chinese social network SmellMe lets your pets have a group of their own.

Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

There's a lot of fun to be had by mixing animals and technology, but we're not entirely convinced that a social network would ever catch on -- after all, pets can't even read, let alone write their own status updates.

But that certainly hasn't stopped people from trying, with apps such as MySocialPetwork and Klooff; and heck, the humans certainly seem to enjoy it.

SmellMe, from China, and probably named for the way animals sniff each other on introduction, looks set to be a big hit. It's only, according to Tech in Asia, in its infancy, with around 500,000 registered users, but it's just secured $1.6 million in pre-Series A funding.

So... what can you actually do with it? Well, it seems like you can take, edit and share pictures of your pets, putting in stickers to dress them in funny outfits (or you can really dress them in funny outfits, as seen on the SmellMe website).

You can also browse other people's pet photos; find pets on a map based on location, presumably so you can make pet play-dates, and find pet services, such as pet grooming salons, pet-friendly hotels, and pet stores. These are all given star ratings by other users so that you can see which services are considered the best, and forums allow pet owners to interact with each other.

It doesn't, in short, seem that silly after all -- but, unless you can read Chinese, it will have very limited appeal outside of China. If you do read Chinese, you can grab the apps by scanning the Android and iOS QR codes on the SmellMe website.