Rise of the Selfie

“Selfie” has been named 2013’s word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries!

The word began with humble beginnings, being used as a niche social media tag. Within the last year however, it has gone viral, entering mainstream social media and dominating our day to day lives.

The definition of a selfie is “A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”

The craze has even spread to our celebrities, politicians and religious leaders!

beckham selfie




Selfies are huge at the moment, in fact, if you look up #selfie on Instagram, you’ll be welcomed by more than 88 million matches! It’s no longer unusual to see someone walking down the street with their arm fully stretched, pulling a duck face at their smart phone. We all know the process of taking a selfie, and as much as you’d like to deny it, I imagine that the majority of you have taken a sneaky selfie too! 

Below is an infographic by Visual.ly that outlines some of the key characteristics of the selfie:


Taking selfies is a great way to get personal holiday snaps, without having to trust a random tourist with your smart phone or camera, but in recent weeks, selfies have achieved something a lot more impressive.

A couple of weeks ago the #nomakeupselfie trend was started to help raise awareness for Cancer Research UK. The idea was to take a no-make-up-selfie, donate £3, and then nominate others to do the same. Initially this trended among the female population, but before long, the lads joined in too by posting selfies of them wearing make-up. This campaign has raised over £8 million in less than a week, and perhaps the most impressive part of it is that it wasn’t actually started by Cancer Research UK, but its supporters. When Cancer Research UK heard about the trend, they worked alongside their supporters and set up a text donation code to make it easier to donate. 

no-makeupAlthough the #nomakeupselfie wasn’t a brand led initiative, it just goes to show2 things: one, how crazed our nation is with the selfie; and two, the importance of working alongside fans, supporters and customers to optimise brand engagement.