Think selfies have had their moment? Think again.
Google reported in 2015 that 24 billion selfies were uploaded over the course of the year. In 2016, Ellen DeGeneres’s famous selfie shot at the Oscars broke records on Twitter with 3.3 million retweets. Reality star Kim Kardashian managed to sell upwards of 125,000 copies of her book “Selfish”—yes, a book of selfies. While it’s easy to dismiss selfies as a social media fad in pop-culture, the rise of new technologies and strategies surrounding selfies only proves this so-called phenomenon still holds plenty of value for marketers looking to engage and amplify organically.
Take CES this year, where drones dominated the floor once again. They weren’t “ordinary” drones, however. They were selfie-snapping drones creating floating, dramatic shots, even aerial “selfies”—like the Hover Camera, a “personal photographer” that snaps midair and tracks your face. Appliances are even getting in the game. A year prior at CES, Samsung unveiled a refrigerator that took selfies of its contents whenever a user closed the door, images users could then access on-the-go to see what they need to pick up from the store. Pet parents are getting in the game, too, with a high-tech gadget called the Petbot Selfie Snapper that senses when your little guy is near the device and snaps a selfie and sends it to you.
On the brand marketing side, more selfie innovations. In November, Coca-Cola released a selfie bottle. The bottle's base is fitted with a camera so that when you tilt it at 70-degrees, it automatically snaps a photo of you drinking the sparkling beverage in an otherwise impossible shot to get. And then, it lets you immediately share that shot to Snapchat, Facebook or Instagram.
For the Australian Open this year, a state-of-the-art “fan cam” is being unveiled at Rod Laver Arena that will allow spectators to take control of a camera inside the stadium roof and snap a “selfie” from their seats. Called BriziCam, fans access the robotic, augmented reality camera through a mobile site and enter their seat number. They’ll see themselves on a live feed from their device and can “pan, swivel and zoom” the camera to their liking. The photos are then automatically sent back to their devices to share them on digital walls inside the stadium and social media, with prizes awarded after matches for the best images of the night.