What’s the secret ingredient for making something go viral? Everyone who wants a web-based career is dying to know the answer, but the magic formula has seemingly evaded us since the dawn of YouTube 10 years ago.
In the case of the Twitter account @MeetRescueDogs, though, it’s simple: before-and-after photos of adopted dogs.
@MeetRescueDogs has garnered 28,600 followers in four days despite appearing to have only 13 tweets to its name since April 25.
The account is used for tweeting before-and-after photos of rescue dogs who have made astonishing recoveries after being starved, dehydrated and/or abandoned.
But like so many other online artifacts in the early days of virality, its origins — and its veracity — are tough to decipher.
There is no website, location or email address listed on the Twitter account, nor are the photos credited to any source. Most of the images first appeared on a Reddit page called Before N After Adoption. The pups also appear on a week-old Imgur album that’s gotten 1.5 million views.
Also, It would be easy fudge some of these side-by-side comparisons. Purebred dogs look almost identical to other animals who share their breed. It wouldn’t be tough to find a photo of an abused or starving German shepherd online and stick it next to a photo of an unrelated but well-fed and smiling pet that looks just like it.
In fact, it’s obviously a winning combination for virality.
We are attempting to get to the bottom of the account’s origins. In the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with admiring the happy and healthy pups and the people who keep them that way.