Selfie: A type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken of oneself or a group with a smart phone
This past Sunday, the 86th Academy Awards aired, but the red carpet fashions and winners were not the only highlights of the show making headlines. Oscar host, Ellen DeGeneres took a “selfie” with A-listers that has garnered media attention everywhere. Her Tweeted photo has now reached over three million retweets, beating out President Obama’s old Twitter record for the most retweeted picture in 35 minutes. DeGeneres’ photo even shut down Twitter for twenty minutes, due to heightened website traffic.
Almost a week after the Oscars, the selfie is still making news. Many selfie parodies have been made including illustrated versions of the Peanuts and Simpson characters, Internet meme’s like GrumpyCat, and the A-list celebrities made out of Legos.
DeGeneres and Samsung are now putting her selfie to good use. Samsung was a major sponsor of the award show and their Galaxy Note 3 was used to take the selfie. The company announced that they will donate $1 for every retweet to the charities of DeGeneres’ choice. She chose to give 1.5 million dollars each to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Humane Society of the United States.
The selfie has been seen all over social media accounts and it was even named the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year. Brands have recently started to capitalize on this trend by promoting selfies on their pages like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
Dunkin Donuts has been featuring their “Fan of the Week” campaign, which allows customers to upload a selfie of themselves with Dunkin Donuts beverages that could be posted on their Facebook page. Additionally, the brand encourages their fans to share their coffee stories and photos using the hashtag #mydunkin.
A museum professional Mar Dixon and website Culture Themes dubbed January 22nd, 2014 as the first Museum Selfie Day. This initiative aimed to attract more visitors to museums and bring awareness to collections housed in both national and international museums. The hashtag, #MuseumSelfie, received around 3,500 posts on Instagram from places like Australia, Africa, and Mexico.
Traditional media has also started using the selfie, but in a different way. The TODAY Show started a “Love Your Selfie” campaign that features their anchors talking about their own insecurities in hopes of changing the traditional definitions of beauty. The anchors have posted photos of themselves without makeup and have encouraged viewers to do the same by using the hashtag #LoveYourSelfie on social media. The hashtag already has 17,700 posts on Instagram. Celebrities like Jordin Sparks, Cameron Diaz, Naomi Campbell, and Michelle Obama were included in the campaign speaking about the topic and how it affects them.
It will be interesting to see how brands continue to use the selfie to promote themselves and their products. So far it has been used to give back to charity, give a brand a more personable vibe, or engage with followers. By having the most re-tweeted Twitter image, DeGeneres proves that the selfie is truly here to stay.