Do you #selfie?

Selfies are everywhere and they’re not going away. At the time of writing, there were 224 million posts on Instagram under the hash tag #selfie – that’s a lot of faces. Taking a photo of yourself and posting it to social media is such a popular trend that it’s been scientifically analysed by a computer science grad student at Stanford University, resulting in five rules to create the perfect selfie.

Image Source: Instagram

Image Source: Instagram

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll know that media darling Kim Kardashian is the reigning queen of self-love and posts selfies on an almost daily basis. She has even compiled a book of her favourite images – aptly titled ‘Selfish’. The trend has gotten even more ridiculous over the past year, with the rising popularity of a little gadget called a selfie stick. You know what they are – you’ve seen them. And no, it’s not possible to use a selfie stick without looking obnoxious.

So what does this mean for retail? How can marketers leverage this trend (short of hiring a celebrity to post images for you)? For starters, MasterCard is piloting an app that lets customers pay with selfies, making the payment process entertaining as well as adding extra security in the form of an identity check. It also gets around the e-comm issue of customers forgetting their passwords – let’s face it, we have to remember 1,639 passwords these days!

Image Source: CNBC

Image Source: CNBC

This payment tech has even rolled out to a college campus in Canada, targeting the perfect demographic for the selfie trend, but it’ll probably be the end of 2016 before we see it being used more widely. We’re waiting for the day we can walk into Topshop’s Oxford Circus branch after work, snap a selfie and pay without having to join the mile-long queue! That, and checking in for our business flight with a selfie, would be ideal.

A history of the selfie…

Image Source: Lucova

Image Source: Lucova

Looking to the future…

 True narcissists can rejoice – the selfie of the future will be a 3D printed mock-up of your face. While we definitely applaud the tech, the thought of walking into someone’s house to find a wall-mounted version of their head is terrifying.

Image Source: Popular Science

Image Source: Popular Science