Selfies are everywhere. There are over 300 million selfies on Instagram and the word was officially added to the Oxford dictionary in 2013. One poll even found that every third photo taken by people aged 18 to 24 is a selfie, that equates to two full days a year. It's safe to say that they're a part of our culture and not going anywhere in a hurry. And the switch to vertical video will only reinforce their dominance. Contrary to popular belief, capturing an image of self has been a human fascination over centuries. Artists were the first to explore this urge. Van Gogh created over 30 self-portraits, Rembrandt created over 100 and Kahlo painted a solid 55. Studying the history of selfies can help us see how they are evolving; and how fundamentally they will shift communications in the future. For example Jet Blue is working to make your selfie a new form of boarding pass.
1839 - The Very First Selfie
According to the Huffington Post, the first recorded selfie was taken in 1839, by the chemist, metallurgist and amateur photographer, Robert Cornelius. In the back of his family's store in Philadelphia, he set up his camera equipment and snapped the image by removing the lens cap and running into frame, before covering it up again.
1960 - The Selfie Artistry Abounds
Andy Warhol took this selfie into photographic form and made it a cult phenomenon. His use of color and contrast made it clear it was an expressive medium, designed to distort one's sense of self. This opened up a desire to push creative boundaries with our own likeness.
2006 - Selfies hit the World Wide Web
MySpace Pic launched in 2006, and encouraged users to upload a personal snapshot of them in their element. This was perhaps the first use of the profile picture. In 2009, Facebook eclipsed Myspace's traffic and created a user experience where profile pictures (and their quality) were a focal point.
2010 - The Front Facing Camera
Next, Apple gave us the front facing camera on our iPhones, and the selfie game really took off. Suddenly we could snap and actually see what we were doing.
2011 - Filters Flood The Market
Instagram unleashed filters on the world, making it easier for us to feel good about our perfected selfies. This was soon followed by apps like Facetune, that allow you to remove blemishes and CamMe that lets you use hand gestures to trigger the snap, so you don't have to hold the phone.
2012 - Video Selfies Arrive
In this year, Snapchat unleashed video selfies onto the masses and inspired Instagram to launch their version of video posts, with Instagram Stories. In many ways, these unpolished, unfiltered and uncensored videos have been a swing away from the polished perfection of Instagram and Facebook posts. It's still a selfie, but it's the real, real deal.
2014 - Selfie Sticks
The world drew a collective heave of disgust when the selfie-stick took off. A selfie-stick type of invention originally made the 1995 edition of '101 Un-Useless Japanese Inventions.' But Canadian Wayne Fromm, who holds patent on the Quik Pod, considers himself to be the father of the modern version of the selfie stick, according to New York Magazine. The cringe-inducing invention took off in 2014, reaffirming the selfie's dominant grip on our society.
2017: Selfies Become A Primary Form Of Communication
A new app, Kombie is redefining the future of video selfies, by introducing a whole new way of communicating. Kombie allows you to insert yourself into any video, and put your own stamp on it. It can be a clip of Beyoncé belting out a tune, Elmo counting numbers, or a clip of the news; ready for you to put your own spin on. These high quality videos, complete with your own peronal stamp, are projected to become the new form of text messaging. After all, when we are directly involved in content, engagement skyrockets and we're more likely to share and ping pong the videos back and forth.