Written by Katrina

Modified & Updated: 30 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Girl taking selfie, selfie facts

If you’re on Instagram or any kind of social media platform, you’ll notice a lot of people like to take selfies. This is just one of those indisputable selfie facts. Selfies, today, have become a fixture in most people’s lives. It’s incredibly easy to capture and share your life with people these days. Often, it just takes a quick click on the shutter, some filters here and there, and then you’re sharing your morning walk with your Facebook friends.

If you aren’t on social media often (or at all), then selfies might not be too familiar to you. In that case, you’re probably wondering:

What is a selfie?

A selfie is any photograph of yourself taken by yourself. These days, there are different kinds of cameras you can use to take a selfie. You can use a webcam, a professional camera, or, more commonly, your smartphone’s front camera.

There are different styles of taking selfies too. Some popular kinds include mirror selfies at the gym or selfies at home with your pets. It’s a great way of allowing people to have a glimpse at your everyday life. That is, of course, if you want to share.

However, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes when it comes to the selfie. From its history and other shocking trivia about the popular Instagram trend, here are 40 selfie facts that you’ll want to know about!

  1. Only 4% of photos found on social media actually qualify as selfies.
  2. Most selfie-takers are of the average age of 23.6 years old.
  3. The average millennial will take around 25,700 selfies throughout their lifetime.
  4. The Oxford English Dictionary named “selfie” as the Word of the Year in 2013.
  5. In 2013, people started using the word “selfie” 17,000% more often.
  1. People use the hashtag, “#selfie,” to tag their self-portraits on Instagram.
  2. On January 16, 2011, Instagram user Jennifer Lee was the first to ever caption her photo with “#selfie.”
  3. Yeong-Ming Wang invented the selfie stick back in 2012.
  4. The projected size of the selfie stick industry is around $174 million.
  5. Department stores had to restock selfie sticks during the holidays in 2014 because it was the most popular Christmas gift then.
  6. At the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries, the world’s largest group selfie was taken with 2,000 people in the photo.
  7. Facebook is the go-to social media platform for sharing selfies.
  8. The second most popular way to share selfies is through private text messages.
  9. Myspace self-portraits or Myspace pics were poor quality images in front of a bathroom mirror and were common during 2006 – 2009.
  10. While there isn’t an official rule book, some people follow a step-by-step process when taking selfies.
  1. Around 8% of people regret sending a selfie to potential romantic partners.
  2. If it’s a “sexy selfie,” 36% of people often regret sending it.
  3. An amateur pilot once crashed into a wheat field and died along with his passenger because they were taking selfies mid-flight.
  4. The Eiffel Tower is the most popular place for selfies.
  5. A study reveals that most selfies from London contain faces that do not seem happy.
Table of Contents

Selfie Facts Infographics

Selfie Facts Infographics

The first-ever selfie dates back to an oil painting in 1524. 

21-year-old artist Parmigianino painted his own reflection in his artwork called, “Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror.” This masterpiece is small and circular with a diameter of 9.6 in. Currently, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria houses this historic painting.

Selfie facts Parmigianino
Image from Wikimedia

In the past, selfies weren’t easy to take.

Back then, selfie cameras weren’t a thing, so taking a selfie wasn’t as easy as striking a pose and clicking the shutter in the next second. In 1839, Robert Cornelius took the first photographic selfie. He had to set up a camera on the stand, click the shutter, and run in front of the frame to pose. That’s a lot more tiring than today’s simple and quick shot with smartphones.

Selfies can say a lot about your personality.

While your eyes are the windows to your soul, selfies aren’t that far behind either. According to a study from “Computers in Human Behaviour,” selfie poses and styles reveal certain characteristics about yourself. People who look directly into the camera are usually more agreeable. Meanwhile, those who often strike a “duck face,” or an expression with pouted lips, are said to be emotionally unstable. Maybe it’s time to retire the duck face and look for a new go-to pout?

Selfies can also be a red flag.

One of the most interesting selfie facts is that psychologists believe taking selfies is addictive. David Veal, a British psychologist, argued that selfie addiction was a “mental health issue with an extremely high suicide rate.” According to the study, most selfie-takers suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and/or depression. This is likely because taking selfies tends to make you overly conscious of how you look like.

Makati City is the “Selfie Capital of the World.”

One of the selfie facts that you might not know about is that selfies are much more popular in certain cities than in others. TIME magazine built a database of over 400,000 photos captioned with “#selfie.” They ranked 459 cities based on this database and found that Makati City in the Philippines had the most selfies. According to TIME, there are 258-selfie takers every 100,000 people in Makati. Manhattan and Miami follow closely behind.

Selfie facts Makati City
Image from LA Times

NASA astronauts also take space selfies.

In 1966, the Gemini 12 mission took place. Buzz Aldrin, one of NASA’s astronauts, took the first space selfie while they were in outer space. Just another one of those selfie facts that are out of this world. Literally.

Women take more selfies than men.

This is one of the selfie facts that applies to every city. In Bangkok, women make up 55.2% of selfie-takers. In New York, women make up 61.6%. However, you’ll observe the biggest difference from Moscow. There, 82% of selfie-takers are women. Maybe Russian men just aren’t a big fan of selfies.

Kim Kardashian published a book consisting entirely of her selfies.

The reality star published her book, “Selfish,” in May 2015. The book’s 448 pages contain Kardashian’s favorite selfies which were previously published on her social media accounts. Later on, it became a New York Times bestseller. If you’re looking for some selfie ideas or inspiration, then you can check out her book here on Amazon.

A selfie stick once got stuck in a roller coaster.

There are some scary facts about selfie sticks too. This happened at Disney California Adventure Park. The operators of the roller coaster had to stop the ride for an hour in order to remove the selfie stick. Since then, all Disney parks have banned the use of selfie sticks to prevent anything like this from happening again.

Many tourist spots have banned selfie sticks.

Disney Parks aren’t the only places that have banned selfie sticks. In fact, Beijing’s Palace Museum and the Sistine Chapel in Italy have also banned selfie sticks. If you’re planning on visiting these places, be sure to keep in mind these selfie facts so that you don’t get fined with any fees!

You can’t bring a selfie stick to a bullfight.

Here’s another unexpected fact about selfies: the Spanish government bans audience members from bringing selfie sticks to bullfights. Often, people get distracted by taking selfies. Some even get hurt or killed because they don’t notice the bull running towards them. In the city of Pamplona, fines can reach up to €3,000 for people who don’t follow this ban.

68% of people who take selfies admit to editing their photos.

In the digital age, it is all too easy to edit your photos with a Snapchat filter or two. The flawless skin and colored eyes you’ll see in selfies are usually enhancements from filters. Other people’s cute selfies might affect your self-esteem, so this is one of those selfie facts you definitely don’t want to forget. You can expect that selfies aren’t always what they seem.

The SelfieCity project investigated how people around the world took selfies.

This detailed study recorded and analyzed selfie styles from different places like New York, Moscow, Berlin, Bangkok, and Sao Paulo. It was so detailed, in fact, that they noticed how women in Sao Paulo often tilt their heads at an average of 16.9 degrees. This differs from how women in New York only tilt their heads by 7.9 degrees when taking selfies.

Head tilt
Image from RWG Mobile

In 2014, Huawei trademarked the term, “groupie.”

When talking about selfie facts, you can’t forget about the “groupie.” Groupies refer to selfies that comprise a group of people within the shot. Groupies are often panoramic shots, and the Chinese smartphone company Huawei registered the term as their own after the word, “selfie,” rose in popularity.

The word game, Scrabble, acknowledged the word, “selfie,” in 2014.

Scrabble is a popular board game wherein two to four players form words in order to score points. Like a crossword, Scrabble only allows official words that are included in dictionaries. Thankfully, “selfie” is also viable now after it was included in dictionaries in 2013.

June 21st is officially National Selfie Day.

If you’re a big fan of taking selfies, then you will want to celebrate National Selfie Day. On June 21, everyone is encouraged to take as many selfies as possible! You can share your favorite ones on Instagram or whatever platform you like. You can even use the hashtag, “#NationalSelfieDay,” in your caption to let everyone know you’re celebrating.

Selfie deaths are, unfortunately, common enough to warrant a name.

This is one of the extreme selfie facts that are sadly true. Ever since selfies became popular, more and more people have wanted to one-up each other by taking the “best” selfie. Some of them end up doing dangerous stunts that lead to their untimely deaths. Thus, the term, “selfie deaths,” came to be. This refers to deaths that happen while taking a selfie.

Selfie deaths
Image from BBC

The Netherlands encourages citizens to take selfies inside voting booths.

During election season, the government of the Netherlands encourages their voters to take what they call a “boothy,” which is a selfie inside their voting booths. This is to encourage the youth to take part in the elections. This trend might be a little unorthodox, but if it works, then why not, right?

Other countries enforce strict laws that ban “boothy” photos.

On the other hand, some governments do not condone the “boothy” trend. South Africa and Belgium are incredibly strict when it comes to election season. For them, privacy is a must. Any photos taken in voting booths can cause fines of up to €5,000 or even land you in jail.

Ellen’s selfie from the Oscars is one of the most popular selfies of all time.

Famous talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was one of the presenters of the Oscars in 2014. During her bit, she took a selfie, or a “groupie,” with some of the most popular celebrities present. This includes Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, and Bradley Cooper. At the time, Ellen’s tweet with the attached selfie was the most retweeted on the platform.

Ellen's famous selfie
Image from Twitter

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.