TIME animals

Scaredy Cat So Freaked By The Outdoors He Tries To Hide In Stranger’s Bag [VIDEO]

It's the great indoors for this cat

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They call it the great outdoors, but when you’re a house cat who has never stepped foot outside before, it may not seem so great.

Take the cat in this video making the rounds on the web this morning. The cat’s owner thought it would be nice to take the pet for a walk in the fresh air. The owner hooked his furry friend up to a leash and took him outside for the first time ever. Instead of being overjoyed at his first foray into the open, the cat is overwhelmed to the point of agoraphobic. His first instinct appears to be to impersonate an ostrich, burying his head, not in the sand, but in a passing stranger’s handbag.

Some cats are just meant to be avid indoorsmen.

MORE: You Will Barely Recognize This Abandoned Dog After His Much Needed Haircut

MORE: This Dog Was So Excited to Be Reunited With Its Owner That It Passed Out

TIME animals

Here’s a Perfect Compilation of Puppies Rolling Down Hills

Go on. You earned this

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Brighten up your Monday with this video, which features a series of dogs rolling down grassy hills. That’s all it is! It’s pretty bulldog-heavy, but if that’s not your thing, there are plenty of other breeds represented. (And if bulldogs are not your thing, perhaps this video will change your mind.)

TIME animals

This Dog Was So Excited to Be Reunited With Its Owner That It Passed Out

They had been apart for two years. But don't worry, the dog is fine.

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There’s little doubt that people love their pets, after all, you don’t spend $56 billion on animals you just barely tolerate. While companion animals can’t show their love financially (Grumpy Cat nothwithstanding), it’s pretty clear that pets love their people, too. Take for example, Rebecca Ehalt’s reunion with her beloved Schnauzer, which she uploaded to YouTube. This dog was so happy to be reunited with his human friend, that it passed out from joy.

According to the YouTube posting, Ehalt had been gone for two years — that’s 14 dog years! – and the family pet just couldn’t contain all the feelings coursing through its little four-legged body and ended up shrieking in happiness until it keeled over. Don’t worry, though, the pup was taken to a vet who gave the dog a clean bill of health.

MORE: This Website Knows Where Your Cat Lives

MORE: Machine, and It Will Dispense Food for Stray Dogs

TIME viral

Watch a Toddler Learn He Can Rally an Entire Summer Camp With His Cuteness

All he has to do is wave his hands in the air

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When this 15-month-old boy stood in front of a crowd, he quickly realized that his charisma and charm could be leveraged quite easily. He claps, the people clap. He raises his arms, the people raise their arms.

Next step: complete world domination.

TIME viral

This Is What It Looks Like When The Queen Photobombs Your Selfie

One is amused

An Australian field hockey player was minding her own business, talking a selfie at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, when her picture was photobombed by the Queen. As in, Elizabeth II, Queen of England.

AND she was smiling.

This wasn’t the Queen’s first time embracing millennial photobomb culture, either:

Royals. They’re just like us.

TIME viral

Meet the First Viral Snapchat Stars

Snapchat stars Jerome Jarre and Shonduras pose in a Snapchat Shonduras

The secret to how some Snapchatters earn $100,000 for a week's work and stand out in a medium that is all about disappearing

Three twenty-something guys, armed with smart phones and a neon yellow soccer ball, are scrambling in different directions in a crowded New York City Whole Foods. Shaun McBride just maneuvered around bandana-wearing Chris Carmichael to score a “goal” into a shopping cart, and now they have to escape before getting caught by startled shoppers or, worse, security.

“I got the shot!” says Jerome Jarre, breathing heavily outside of the grocery store. It is 30 minutes before the beginning of this month’s World Cup final, and they have to finish their Snapchat Story before the game starts. Together, the trio has an audience of almost 2 million people, and pockets of the fans have gathered around Union Square to take pictures of the social media personalities.

They are among the first viral stars of Snapchat, a popular mobile app created in 2011 on the premise that friends would send each other photos, videos, and doodles that would self-destruct in 10 seconds or less. Unlike Instagram or Vine, it wasn’t built to be a sharing platform to broadcast creative content to the masses but to be shared intimately with acquaintances. But Snapchat has grown up fast and now large companies are trying to reach its audience and are handing some of its most loved users six-figure paychecks to do it.

Building a Staying Following on a Disappearing Medium

When Jin Long Shi, 14, saw on Snapchat that his favorite social media celebrities were just a few blocks away, he ran out of his apartment — only stopping to buy them a box of Munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts — to watch them shoot. “Before this, I didn’t know you could have followers on Snapchat and create stories, I thought you just used it to take selfies and send funny things to friends,” Shi says.

Shi came primarily for Jarre, 24, who describes himself as an “outgoing Borat Frenchman.” His creative niche is slapstick and playing pranks on strangers. Jarre gained his celebrity from his 6-million follower Vine account, but he has recently transitioned his focus primarily to Snapchat after downloading it a month ago.

“Why would Christophe Colomb go to America? Why would we go to the moon? It’s fresh, anything can happen there,” he says.

Jarre, who has 1.2 million Snapchat followers, says that the new medium is building his portfolio from 6-second videos to 2-minute narratives and increasing his followers. (Snapchat launched a Story feature in October that allows users to create a longer narrative that is displayed to all of their friends, rather than directly send to select followers, that lasts a 24-hours and can be viewed multiple times.) After 18 months on Vine, he had accumulated 800,000 Instagram followers. After three weeks on Snapchat, that number grew 1.3 million. Jarre shared his Story statistics, showing his zany narratives — “that always end with a positive message” — get viewed upwards of 1.1 million times and screen grabbed upwards of 43.9K times:

Snapchat story data shows how many people viewed and taken a screenshot of a user's content.
Snapchat story data shows how many people viewed and taken a screenshot of a user’s content. Jerome Jarre

“It’s the most viral platform ever because people need to screenshot, share, and talk to their friends,” Jarre says. “Because it is disappearing in 24-hours, they have to tell their friends or else no one will see it… There’s an insane word of mouth power. That’s how Shaun gained his followers from scratch.”

Shaun McBride, whose “Shonduras” Snapchat account has more than 140,000 followers, is known by brands, social media celebrities and agencies as a Snapchat pioneer. The 27-year-old snowboard sales rep from Ogden, Utah is a self-proclaimed member of the “Facebook generation,” and he didn’t have a social media presence at all until his six sisters, who are in high school and therefore Snapchat’s key demographic, pressured him into making a Snapchat account in November.

McBride’s Snapchat specialty is turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, and often silly, with detailed finger doodles over pictures. This caught on with his sisters’ friends and soon their entire high school had requested to follow him. He started getting notifications that his photographs of silly scenarios, like pictures of dogs he turned into Disney princesses with Snapchat’s drawing tools, were getting screen-shot hundreds of times. McBride says that when he would send out prompts to followers, asking them to send in a picture of a quarter in exchange for a personalized drawing, “Thousands of people sent me pictures of quarters. I spent the whole day snapping them back because I didn’t want to be rude. I was like, is this for realz?”

Snapchats by Shonduras

How to Engage With Snapchat Followers

As McBride’s following grew from hundreds to tens of thousands, he began building a presence on other social media sites so that his fans could see his content even after it disappeared. This is when his work started getting picked up by media outlets and companies (including Taco Bell, Disney, and MLS) began reaching out to work with him. That’s one of the ironies of Snapchat celebrity: It depends on screengrabs from other social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

“Snapchat is not like Twitter and Facebook, it’s not about likes, it’s not about followers,” Snapchat spokesperson Mary Ritti says, noting that the app doesn’t even track the number of Snapchat friends people have.

“Maybe it’s just a too cool thing,” says Molly Mitchell (Snapchat name: biggie_molls), who does marketing at men’s short-shorts company Chubbies. “Snapchat is the hipster of the social media world. It’s elusive and you need someone else’s commonplace app to purvey its content.” Mitchell gained brief Snapchat celebrity after she created an Instagram account chronicling the Snapchats she sent her friends of her relationship with her boyfriend.

Over the four hours of storyboarding and shooting their 86-second World Cup Snapchat, Jarre, McBride, and Carmichael discuss the possibilities of posting videos of their stories on YouTube.

Carmichael, (Snapchat name: ChrisCarm), keeps a Tumblr to showcase his comic book-esque Snapchat stories, which often end on cliffhangers. “My theme is that my bandana talks to me, and it’s my mentor,” Carmichael, 27, says. “It takes me on an adventure. A big story that is never ending.”

A panel from one of Carmichael’s Snapchat stories ChrisCarm

Since the medium is still young, Snapchat users are working together to find the best way to engage with fans. One of McBride’s first collaborations was with Boston-based Michael Platco (Snapchat name: mplatco), who doodled on red gloves to have a cross-country boxing match. They asked fans to Snapchat in who they wanted to win, so that they would have influence over the match.

Snapchatters Shonduras and Mplatco sent their followers disappearing photos of them boxing Shonduras and Mplatco / Snapchat
Followers sent Shonduras and Mplatco Snapchats to indicate who they wanted to win the boxing match.Shonduras / Snapchat

Shortly after the boxing match, which ended in a draw, Disney flew McBride to Disneyland and Platco to Disneyworld to simultaneously launch the theme parks’ Snapchat accounts in their first-ever paid Snapchat gigs. Since then, Platco has worked with food site GrubHub and “Harry Potter” fan site MuggleNet. (He is very active in the Snapchat-Harry Potter market, which does, in fact, exist).

Snapchat prowess has also led to full-time office jobs. Dasha Battelle (Snapchat name: dabttll) is known for her stylus-free, intricate artwork, which helped land her a job on Mashable’s visual storytelling team.

Good Snapchatting Pays Off… Literally

Just as companies pay top social media users for their Instagram and Vine abilities, they are starting to shell out cash to those who “get” Snapchat. And for good reason. The popular communication tool has a stronghold on a very young, obsessive and viral-savvy demographic of potential buyers—although the company doesn’t disclose figures, it has an estimated 30 million active monthly users, 71% of whom are under 25.

Compensation ranges widely. Consulting can pay up to $150 an hour and although Snapchatters and companies wouldn’t publicly disclose specific payments, two top Snapchat users said that the most coveted stars now earn anywhere from $1,500 a day to more than $100,000 for a week’s work for a company. That’s in the ballpark of what influencers on other social platforms are getting paid. Marcus Johns told Business Insider that a Vine ad campaign paid off his college tuition, and advertisers have sent influential Instagram users on fully paid trips around the world to Instagram events from their accounts.

Some companies have been hesitant to invest in Snapchat since the branded content doesn’t have a permanent afterlife, as it would on Instagram. But Vayner Media founder Gary Vaynerchuk, a leading social media adviser, thinks discounting Snapchat is shortsighted.

“Why anybody thought that a disappearing piece of content isn’t valuable is insane to me,” says Vaynerchuk, explaining that before technology existed to record television shows, the content within the commercial breaks disappeared. “Last time I checked, when I’m listening to a car commercial on Z100, that sh-t disappeared.”

Vaynerchuk and Jarre co-founded GrapeStory, an agency that pairs top Vine, Instagram, and now Snapchat users including McBride with companies. Sour Patch worked with GrapeStory and Logan Paul, a social media leader, to launch its Snapchat account in early July, and Sonic will use another top user to launch its account in August.

When McBride walked around the grounds of DisneyLand in a Mickey Mouse hat that read “Shonduras” over Memorial Day weekend, he thought that Snapchat had the potential to supplement some of his income as a fun side business and creative outlet.

“This month, I hope to make more than I did last year in my real job,” he says. “It’s insane.”

TIME viral

Watch a Little Girl and Her Dad Dance to Ariana Grande’s “Problem”

This will make your day

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Most little girls ask their dad for a pony, or like, an iPad or another iSomething. But this little girl asked her father for a different gift: the gift of joining her in a choreographed dance to Ariana Grande’s hit song “Problem.”

As you can see, he was game — and the results are pretty adorable.

TIME Viral Videos

This Dad Break Dances with His Daughter When He Gets Home from Work

Fair warning: This video may also get Ke$ha stuck in your head

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When you’re a toddler, there isn’t much that is more exciting than having one of your parents come home from work. One Kentucky family decided to make the occasion even more joyful by staging nightly daddy-daughter dances in their drive way.

For the last few weeks, when Justin Price gets home after a day at work, he parks his truck, cranks up Ke$ha’s and Pitbull’s “Timber” and starts dancing with his two-year old daughter, Malli. The video, posted by Price’s wife, Chessi, shows a sweet and celebratory dance-off complete with some solo twerking and synchronized fist-pumping that will make you want to throw down with your own dad.

MORE: Reporter Sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to Angela Merkel in This Cringe-Worthy Video

MORE: WATCH: Weird Al Makes Fun of Every College Fight Song

TIME viral

Dog Steals Baby’s Toy and Then Repents by Showering Her With Gifts

It's so comforting to see them make amends

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When this dog named Charlie decided to help himself to his human sister’s stuffed animal, he made her cry, because obviously. That was a pretty rotten thing to do. Charlie seems to realize this pretty quickly, because he attempts to apologize to her by bringing her a series of new toys. The remorse he feels is quite palpable.

Note: the music in this video gets to be a bit much, so we suggestmuting it and adding your own soundtrack. We recommend a classic apology track, like Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”:

(h/t BuzzFeed)

 

 

TIME viral

Weird Al Yankovic Makes Fun of Your First World Problems

Forgetting the name of your gardener? No gluten-free cookies in the airport lounge? So annoying.

The sixth installment of Weird Al Yankovic’s eight videos in eight days campaign takes a stab at those of us with First World problems. If you’ve ever been plagued with petty inconveniences like un-foamed coffee, bills to large for a vending machine, filling up on bread at lunch and not leaving room for tiramisu, then you’ve got First World problems. In a song set to the musical styling of the Pixies, Weird Al dons a blonde wig and plays a spoiled, rich man whose life appears to be a series of frustrations borne from having too little to worry about.

Embedding of the video won’t be available until July 21, but you can watch it here now.

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