Whether it’s memes, cute videos, or cat-themed video games, the internet is flooded with cats. It doesn’t matter if you’re browsing social media or trying to put off some work, cat content is going to find its way onto your screen. (You might even have a gig or two of phone storage dedicated to your own cat. No judgment.)
It’s International Cat Day, and we’re “cat”egorically into data, which got us thinking: How much of the world’s data is cat data?
Internet Cat Traffic by the Numbers
At Pure, we love all things orange. Our very own Ollie has similar tastes.
A 2015 survey determined that cats drive about 15% of internet traffic. To put that into perspective, of about 4.66 billion people regularly using the internet, 699 million are at some point searching for cats and/or cat-related content every month. (All of that data has to get stored somewhere.)
Needless to say, felines have “cat”apulted themselves into the zeitgeist.
Cat Data Is Unstructured Data, Which Is Also Having a Moment
Cats may not be physically welcome in a data center—way too many cords to chew on—but virtually, they’ve made themselves right at home. You’ve probably heard us talk quite a bit about unstructured data—data that does not have a pre-defined model or that’s not easily organized into tables. About 90% of the world’s data is unstructured data, and it’s only going to grow.
Cat content is pretty much all unstructured—videos, photos, and audio. It’s a lot like cat fur in your household; you don’t realize how much there is until you start trying to get a handle on it.
Say hello Dutchie: She’s a lovely tuxedo cat who loves her fashionable bandana
So how much unstructured cat data is out there?
In 2010, it was estimated that there were about 1.3 billion cat pictures on the internet. Today, that number is expected to be more than 6.5 billion. The average JPEG image size works out to anywhere between 3.5MB to 7MB—you do the math! More than 2 million cat videos were posted on YouTube in 2014 alone which accounted for more than 26 billion views. Eight years later, the number of cat videos on YouTube has exploded to tens of millions. And TikTok is blowing up with cat content—including a recent video of a cat named Paquito that got more than 15 million views.
Cats are even creating their own videos now. The New York Times reports, “The rise of wearable camera technology, though more often used by surfers or snowboarders than pets, has led to another niche style of cat content.” High-res collar cameras allow cats to broadcast their adventures, like Mr. Kitters and his pals, who have over 1 million followers on Instagram.
It’s hard to say definitively how much of the world’s unstructured data is cat content, but here’s a thought: If you started right now, you still wouldn’t be able to consume all of the internet’s cat content in your lifetime.
Even our cats are obsessed with tech. Just ask Pure’s own Biff!
Cats and Artificial Intelligence
We all know data is exploding—more so now with generative AI helping us create content, images, and possibly even cat GIFs. CatGPT is sinking its claws into AI-powered large language models (LLMs) with features like GPT-Meow (ask it a question, it meows back), and GPT-Furr, a ChatGPT-integrated “meowdel” for getting real AI responses and animated cat GIFs.
I tested CatGPT out by asking if mice chew wires in data centers, and it seems cats are all too willing to offer their services in rodent remediation:
Cats are not only providing answers to our most pressing questions, they’re also making their own AI art to help drive adoption numbers.
Pure Storage: We’re Passionate about Pets and Petabytes
While cats may be mysterious creatures, one thing is clear: Cat content and data are multiplying. (We’re guilty—at Pure, we have a Slack channel dedicated to sharing pics of our #pets.) What we need to stay ready for all of this data is an infinitely scalable, modern storage solution. FlashBlade//S™ was built for the demands of growing unstructured data. Learn more about what it can do for your organization.