Selfie usage shows no signs of abating
Despite subsiding media obsession, selfies continue to gain popularity among all age groups and have become an ingrained use case for how today’s smartphone photographers retain and share their visual memories
With Time Magazine listing “selfie” among the top ten buzz words in 2012, Oxford Dictionaries selecting “selfie” as the word of the year in 2013, and Scrabble allowing the word “selfie” in 2014, the selfie phenomenon has spread from millennials to mainstream smartphone users in just a matter of a few years. But will it last or is it an over-hyped fad that could easily deflate?
To answer these questions, Suite 48 Analytics surveyed 1,021 North American smartphone photographers to determine their selfie taking, enhancing and sharing habits on handheld smartphones, smartphones attached to selfie-sticks, action cams, drones, and digital cameras.
The study found that taking selfies is a widespread phenomenon among all age groups: 84% of the respondents took at least one selfie with their smartphone in the last 30 days. Tellingly, taking selfies was similarly broad across age groups: 88% among respondents under 25, 83% among 25+ respondents, and 80% among 35+ respondents.
However, age was found to have a significant impact on how frequently smartphone photographers take selfies. Those under 25 take more than twice as many selfies with their smartphone as do those who are 25 or older.
And while selfies are getting less media coverage than in recent years, the study’s respondents report they’re actually taking more of them than they did as recently as six months ago. This increase is most prominent among the younger respondents.
We’ve heard similarly premature predictions of imminent demise in the past for photo editing in desktop software and, more recently, for using creative filters in smartphone apps.
“Even trend-finicky millennials show no signs they’re moving away from selfies,” according to Hans Hartman, who conducted the study for Suite 48 Analytics.
“Selfies have quickly become an ingrained way of sharing experiences. They may no longer be the hot new thing, but they show no sign of being a fad that’s about to fizzle. We’ve heard similarly premature predictions of imminent demise in the past for photo editing in desktop software and, more recently, for using creative filters in smartphone apps. But as long as selfies serve genuine user needs, they will be made and shared – whether with smartphones or with a new generation of selfie-optimized capture devices.”
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The Selfies – A Maturing Use Case report includes 39 charts and 1 table, and counts 37 pages.
The report addresses the following topics:
How many people are taking selfie?
Which devices do they use? (smartphones, smartphones on selfie-sticks, action cams, drones, digital cameras)
How many selfies do they take with each device?
Reasons for taking selfies
When or why are people taking selfies?
What do they do with them?
How has their selfie taking behavior changed over time?
Through which platforms do they share their selfies?
Why do they not take selfies?
How often do people enhance selfies before sharing them?
How do they enhance their selfies?
How have their selfie enhancement practices changed over time?
Taking video selfies
How many people are taking video selfies?
Which devices do they use?