Last year in November, Oxford Dictionaries announced ‘selfie’ as their international Word of the Year 2013. ‘Selfie’ meaning “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website” had attracted a great deal of interest in 2013; its popularity and instant shareability greatly enabled by smartphones and social networks.
This year, the term could very well win twice in a row after the Ellen DeGeneres record breaking Oscar selfie.
This Sunday, at the 86th Academy Awards held at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre, host Ellen DeGeneres posted a group selfie with the who’s-who of Hollywood on Twitter. The selfie starring Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie among others was retweeted 1.1 million times within just half an hour, and now stands at 3.2 million retweets with over 1.8 million favourites to boot.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
As the image went viral, it even crashed Twitter servers.
Said to be less of a spontaneous selfie and more of a promotional activity by long time sponsors, Samsung for their Galaxy Note 3, the tweet has nevertheless inspired many more tweets by competitors and celebrities alike.
Taking inspiration from Ellen’s “if only Bradley’s arm was longer“, LG promoted its G2 with this tweet:
— LG Jordan (@LGJordan) March 3, 2014
And when Twitter users asked ‘how?’, LG shared with helpful articles and videos.
But, Lenovo nailed it with this tweet highlighting the wide-angle front camera of the Lenovo Vibe Z.
— Lenovo (@lenovo) March 4, 2014
Soon after at an event in Mumbai, actress and anchor Mandira Bedi posted a group selfie starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kunal Kohli among others on Twitter.
— mandira bedi (@mandybedi) March 3, 2014
The selfie was taken at an event organized by luxury watch brand Tag Heuer, a brand that is endorsed by Shah Rukh Khan. It isn’t known whether Mandira’s selfie was spontaneous or just a promotional plug for Tag Heuer. The selfie has been retweeted a 1001 times and favourited by 1600 users.
Going forward, this could be the new trend with celebrity selfies driving social media promotions.