The Year of the #Selfie
Is 2013 the year of the selfie? Well according to the Oxford English Dictionary it is. Just yesterday, selfie was added to their Word of the Year list – joining such notable words as omnishambles, big society, and sudoku.
The Word of the Year isn’t always a new word but is instead something that has had a strong cultural impact and quick rise in use. As Oxford English Dictionary Editorial Director Judy Pearsall told the Guardian:
“Using the Oxford Dictionaries language research programme, which collects around 150m words of current English in use each month, we can see a phenomenal upward trend in the use of selfie in 2013, and this helped to cement its selection.”
And the Oxford English Dictionary isn’t the only one to publish a word of the year – the American Dialect Society also selects one. They haven’t decided on 2013’s word yet, but last year’s? Hashtag.
Selfie may be a silly word, but it’s an important one. The amount of photos we’re taking is increasing, and with that the type of photos people take is changing – and brands are noticing. From Starbucks to Spin Media to Benefit – selfies have moved from a cultural joke to being powerful brand advocate content. A selfie with a product is now the new Amazon or Yelp review.
This year may have been the year the selfie became mainstream, but from what we’re seeing in both the content being shared by fans and leveraged by brands, 2014 will be the real Year of the Selfie.