Selfie: Pronunciation: /ˈsɛlfi/ – “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website
People have been taking selfies—whether for fun, for vanity, or for some combination of the two—since manufacturers started equipping mobile devices with front-facing cameras. Long derided as frivolous features of the social web, they’re now being taken more seriously, and not just by the OED.
2014 was the year of the first billion-dollar selfie. During the 2014 Oscars, Ellen DeGeneres snapped a group selfie, rumored to be sponsored by Samsung, with the likes of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. She then uploaded the photo to her Twitter account and ended up getting millions of retweets from people around the globe. Maurice Levy, CEO of advertising firm Publicis, said that the Oscar selfie was worth between $800 million to $1 billion to its client Samsung.
This isn’t the only time we’ve heard about high-value selfies. At the beginning of April, rumors swirled that Beyoncé was looking for interns to compile Blue Ivy’s baby book and would be paid in:
“unlimited Pepsi products during their internship” and “will also have the opportunity to take three (3) selfies with Beyoncé over the course of the internship.”
In the end, Bey got us all with this April Fool’s Day joke but just the thought that it was plausible got me thinking about the kind of selfie I would pay for. Perhaps a group selfie with my favorite band, a selfie from a pro snowboarder, a Hollywood celebrity?
Now that we know certain selfies have value (thanks Ellen, thanks Beyoncé), we know they aren’t always trivial. Or even if they are, they can be valuable too. So what’s the most sought-after selfie?
Selfie With The Pope
— Fabio M. Ragona (@FabioMRagona) August 29, 2013
Pope Francis is not shy when it comes to technology, he even regularly uses his Twitter account @Pontifex to spread the word of Christ. He upped the ante in 2013 by posing for an incredible selfie with a newlywed couple at the Vatican. How much would you pay for a photo with the Pope? Let us know in the comments below.
Obama/Bill Nye/Neil deGrasse Tyson
President Obama posed in the middle of Scientist Bill Nye and Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to make one of the smartest sandwiches in the history of selfies. Captioned, “What an honor. And we even pulled off ‘The Presidential Selfie’” this may be one of the first (and least controversial—seriously, check out the Mandela Selfie and Big Papi Selfie) of the Obama Selfies. What would you pay to be part of this “smart sandwich”?
Selfie from Space
Best selfie ever. pic.twitter.com/LfkMQK3G
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) February 8, 2013
This image is out of this world and had to find space on our list (sorry). The image of an orbiting astronaut was uploaded to the NASA website, found by Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, and subsequently Tweeted as the “Best selfie ever.” It quickly gained nearly 3000 retweets and over 1000 favorites.
“So um Beyonce posed for my selfie”
Can you say, best photobomb ever?! This lucky fan was photobombed by Bey herself as she posed for a picture during a Beyoncé concert in Australia in 2013. The 15-year old girl quickly uploaded the photo to her Tumblr account with caption “So um Beyonce posed for my selfie” and now has near 26,000 shares.
The excited teen told her Tumblr followers about the unforgettable moment ‘OMG OMG OMG I can’t believe it happened to me!’ she wrote, ‘Like she posed, it’s crazy I wasn’t even expecting her to look at my phone or notice me in the crowd.’ Would you be willing to do an internship that only paid in these bad boys?
Selfie with Snowden
— Alex Rudloff (@alexrudloff) March 18, 2014
Edward Snowden appeared in Vancouver earlier this year, on the TED stage via telepresence robot which he was able to remotely control. Instead of signing off after giving the talk “Here’s how we take back the internet” he decided to have some fun and meet some people roaming the halls of TED2014. He interacted with anyone that wanted to talk to him, and even posed for photos—the ultra-rare “Snowden Selfie.”
Rob Ford for Scale
So I learned that selfies with Rob Ford is actually a thing this week. It’s been long established that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is not shy, so it should be no surprised that he has an impressive series of selfies on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
The most famous selfie with Rob Ford (it’s technically not a selfie, but we’ll let it slide) has come in the form of “Rob Ford for Scale”; two photos use the mayor as a benchmark for one Reddit user’s 60-pound weight loss.
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