I am working on a group project exploring the selfie revolution and am spending some time researching this massive trend. Well, it’s not a trend, it’s a permanent fixture as recent research by the Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs researchers have confirmed http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/selfies-key-instagram-popularity-article-1.1731933.
These guys studied over a million Instagram photos and found that of all the images the ones that generated the biggest response is that of the human face (not cats doing crazy things).
As part of the research I’ve set up a google alert on the subject. This has already provided some rich and weird material including the fact that many people are taking selfies when driving http://www.uknetguide.co.uk/Latest-News/More-drivers-admit-to-snapping-selfies-behind-the-wheel–100234.html and the current weird fad of cellotape selfies http://www.bromygod.com/2014/03/24/sellotape-selfies-latest-trend-internet/.
A positive side of the selfie is the power of the selfie to raise money. The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation is picking up on a UK no-makeup-selfie hashtag campaign to raise money for Breast Cancer http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11225451.The idea is for women to post selfies with no makeup to the hashtag #nomakeupselfie. The UK campaign raised nearly $AUS 2million in just over a day.
So to selfie or not to selfie? The Georgia Institute of Technology confirms that faces generate the most followers, but they also note that if you post too much or too often you will lose those followers just as quickly as you found them.