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10 Fascinating Facts About Selfies

Updated on November 21, 2016
Selfie Facts: Love it or l-o-o-o-v-e it?!
Selfie Facts: Love it or l-o-o-o-v-e it?! | Source

You would think that this simple act of vanity is a result of technological advancements, new cameras, phones and apps of the 21st century . But in fact, selfies aren't new. They aren't just hundred years old too. In fact, they are almost 200 years old.

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10 Most Interesting Selfie Facts

1. The first ever selfie dates back to 1839 when a photography enthusiast named Robert Cornelius tried to take a photograph. Another fascinating fact about this selfie is that he had to stand still for at least 3 minutes before the picture would turn out. Thank the gods, the exposure time needed for our iPhones is slightly lower!

Robert Cornelius' self-portrait taken in 1839, recognized as the first selfie
Robert Cornelius' self-portrait taken in 1839, recognized as the first selfie | Source

2. In 2013, Oxford Dictionary not only added the word "Selfie" on its database, but also announced it as the word of the year. And if you don't already know, Oxford Dictionary does not call the picture a selfie unless you share it on social media. So go ahead and "Instagram" it!

'Selfie' defined by the Oxford
'Selfie' defined by the Oxford | Source

3. Even animals are crazy for their looks. In 2011, a photographer David Slater left his camera for a macaque monkey to play around with. Turns out, the monkey is quite cheeky and photogenic. The monkey's self-taken selfie became more popular than Kim Kardashian's selfie at that time.

Unfortunately, David couldn't hold the ownership of that selfie and had to give up the copyright because the law only applies to humans. Whoever shoots a picture, gains its copyrights.

Monkey Selfie
Monkey Selfie | Source

4. Ellen Degeneres' Selfie in the Oscars 2014 became the most retweeted picture ever, superseding President Obama's selfie. It actually broke the internet with 3.4 million retweets and over 2 million favorites. But did you know that it is actually Bradley Cooper who holds the official rights to the selfie? Fascinating, right?

Ellen's selfie on the Oscars
Ellen's selfie on the Oscars | Source

Watch: Ellen DeGeneres takes a selfie at the Oscars

5. Selfie Stick became a hot selling stuff in 2014!

With the rise of selfie culture, demand for selfie stick also surged. If you believe Google, people searched for the term for 19 more times in 2014 than they did in 2013 - with "iPhone selfie stick" being the hottest in demand.

Selfie using a stick
Selfie using a stick | Source

6. There are far more people than you would imagine who don't know what a selfie is. In 2014 only, the Google search for the term tripled. And far as the people who know what a selfie is is concerned, they are trying to take better and beautiful selfies. According to Google, their number of searches for "how to take a selfie" has increased by 6 folds in 2014.


7. Girls may be pros in taking gorgeous selfies, but guys are catching up too! People searched the internet more for "men's selfie tips" but almost never for "girls selfie tips".

A guy taking a selfie
A guy taking a selfie | Source

8. Out of all the social media websites, Facebook holds the highest share of uploaded selfies at 48%. A city called Makati in Philippines has the highest number of uploaded selfies with New York as the second. Similarly, selfies are the most popular in Australia, with a study confirming that over two-thirds take selfies. This phenomenon is said to have been influenced by Kevin Rudd in 2013, who frequently posts his selfies on Twitter. Hmmm..

Kevin Rudd's selfie
Kevin Rudd's selfie | Source

9. Kylie Jenner of the Keeping Up With The Kardashians fame has the most number of celebrity selfies (#451 as of 2014 end).

In July 2015, she revealed to the Hollywood Life that she takes 500 selfies to get the perfect one to post on Instagram.


10. #Selfie was used as a hashtag first in Flickr in 2004, far before Facebook, Instagram or even iPhone 4.

2016 Selfie Facts and Figures

Q: Why do people take selfies?

A: Starting from 2013, people have taken selfies for a number of reasons like:

  • Capturing the moment with friends and families
  • Brand endorsements
  • Charity and Noble Causes

While most people agree that they take a selfie just to capture the time with their loved ones, as it turns out, there can be a lot of things involved. Primarily, taking a self-portrait and/or selfie is like promoting yourself. Dr Terri Apter of Cambridge University tells that people as social beings like the idea of being noticed and getting attention, being endorsed, being in part of the culture.

Q: How many selfies are taken in a day?

According to a survey conducted in 2015 by Luster Premium White, about 1 million selfies are taken per day.

Q: How much time do people spend every day on selfies?

A: According to the same survey, people spend about 9 minutes to take 3 selfies each day. However, it was also found that an average 18-years old to 24-years old woman takes 16 minutes for the same number of selfies each day. This totals to about 54 hours every year!

Q: How many selfies do people take in their lifetime?

A: Extrapolating the number of selifes taken per day and taking into account an average life expectancy, millenials and young adults will take more than 25,000 selfies.

Q: Is taking a selfie while driving dangerous?

A: Yes, it is extremely dangerous. Distracted Driving Report published by US Department of Transportation reported 33,000 people were injured while taking selfies while driving in 2014.

Casualties Attributed to Selfies: In 2015 alone, more people died taking "extreme" selfies than by shark attacks. 12 deaths were confirmed to selfies while there were only 8 shark attack casualties. During 2013 - 2015, 67 selfie deaths were confirmed. PetaPixel reveals that 1 in 3 selfie deaths are from falling from heights, with India being the number 1 fatality among all deaths caused by selfies.

Interesting: Manny The Cat Takes Better Selfies Than Most People

Manny, a cat takes extraordinary selfies with a GoPro. His selfies can be viewed in the Instagram handle @Yoremahm.

And Manny has more than 162,000 followers and his selfies get almost 20k likes.


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    • Alessio Ganci profile image

      Alessio Ganci 

      4 years ago from Italy

      Another interesting fact about selfies: Homer Simpson takes a photograph of his ass in one of first Simpsons episodes. One of many cases of TV series and cartoons who anticipate trends of today.

    • neosurk profile imageAUTHOR

      Roberto Eldrum 

      4 years ago

      Thank you @Farawaytree. Yeah, 500 is taking it too far, but what can you do when you are a millionaire celebrity at 18? :)

      Agree that we all are obsessed with ourselves and technology is letting us fulfill our wish. I also recently read that we perceive ourselves 5 times more beautiful than we actually look. *cringe* haha!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I think we as a society have always been obsessed with ourselves. As you have said, and I have also discussed in one of my hubs, we've been doing it for ages, it's just the new technology makes it so much faster and easier, and now we can post ourselves everywhere online.

      Taking 500 selfies just to get the right one is insane! She must have a lot of time and that's very scary as far as the vanity aspect. I take selfies too - but that's taking it a bit far.

      Great hub!!


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