Facebook analyzed the behaviors and preferences of 160,000 people who posted photos of cats and dogs, at once both confirming and busting several prevailing pet myths.
For instance: Cat owners have 26 fewer friends on Facebook, yet are more likely to be invited to events than their canine-loving counterparts. And cat owners are more likely to be single, yet among this cohort young men are just as likely to be single as older women.
There are some big differences in pop culture preferences as well, the researchers report. "Cat people are especially fond of fantasy, sci-fi and anime, while dog people like love stories and things about, well, dogs," they write. So are cat people smarter? The Next Web goes so far as to conclude that they have "better taste" — pitting "The Hobbit" and "Brave New World" against "The Hangover" and "Marley & Me."
But there's little consensus here. The Washington Post leads with the headline, "Facebook study confirms literally every stereotype you have about 'cat people,'" while the Daily Dot reports that "Facebook is busting some big myths about cat people and dog people."
On the one hand, cat people tend to post more frequently about being "tired" and "lonely," but also feeling "happy" and "loved." Dog people, meanwhile, seem more excitable, using words like "fabulous," "proud," "blessed," and, well, "excited." Equally likely for both? "Heartbroken."
Both the Post and Daily Dot note how much info Facebook has on its users, and how details in our photos, such as the brands of clothes we wear and whether we own a cat or a dog, could be targeted by advertisers.
Meanwhile, it's not clear how the heck people with both cats and dogs factor in. (Oh, and these researchers say cat people really are smarter.)