Study Shows People Hate ‘Selfies’ — But Facebook Sure Should Love them

by Carla Lake | August 14, 2013 2:44 pm

Study Shows People Hate ‘Selfies’ — But Facebook Sure Should Love them

Pretty much everyone has that Facebook (FB[1]) friend who likes to over-share, posting an endless stream of ‘selfies’[2] that chronicle momentous occasions such as eating breakfast, walking the dog, going to parties — all in a style that obscures everything in the frame except the person taking the photo of themselves (most likely making the dreaded duck face[3]).

Three U.K. universities have conducted a study to confirm what everyone already knew: No one likes that person (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s probably you[4]).

Via The Daily Dot[5]:

“It concluded that spending too much time posting and sharing photographs via social networks actually decreases the amount of meaningful real-life social interactions selfie-lovers have.

The three-year study[6], conducted by business schools at the University of Birmingham, University West of England, and the University of Edinburgh, found that the more your loved ones share pictures of the two of you doing things together, or of just you, the more supportive you find them. That makes sense given that the survey also found the more anyone close to you shares pictures of themselves, the less you find them to be sources of support or intimacy.

In other words, if a picture speaks a thousand words, then just like in real life, people who won’t stop talking about themselves have a harder time getting people to like them.”

With that, and the slew of reactions[7] to a recent Mashable article[8] from a 13-year-old who says Facebook is dead to her and her generation, the perennial question for investors has been dredged up again.

Does it make sense to invest in a social media company that may have lost the “cool” factor for the next generation of users — and whose current users, more or less, no one likes?

Well, I would hazard that the selfie-addicted users we all love to hate are actually a prime audience for Facebook’s new focus on mobile advertising[9]. Think about it — these users are sharing where they are and what they like, and many of them aren’t afraid to pose with their favorite products.

The Sipface campaign[10] from Starbucks (SBUX[11]),  which is taking place across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, implores users to snap a selfie while drinking Starbucks coffee in the ultimate marriage of duckface and product placement. You can bet that Facebook is keeping track of that data[12] to better target ads to those users.

So even though they annoy the rest of us, these users may just be a meal ticket for Facebook and other social media stocks.

Carla Lake is an Assistant  Managing Editor at Investorplace. At the time of this writing, she was not long any of the stocks mentioned in this article.

Endnotes:
  1. FB: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=FB
  2. selfies’: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/talkingtech/2013/08/10/the-art-of-the-selfie/2636059/
  3. duck face: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/31-tips-for-achieving-the-perfect-duckface
  4. it’s probably you: http://youtu.be/o6m42ZQHTfs
  5. The Daily Dot: http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/facebook-study-selfies-friends/
  6. The three-year study: http://epapers.bham.ac.uk/1723/1/2013-03_D_Houghton.pdf
  7. slew of reactions: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/08/13/teens_on_facebook_ruby_karp_mashable_and_the_anecdotal_evidence_problem.html
  8. recent Mashable article: http://mashable.com/2013/08/11/teens-facebook/
  9. focus on mobile advertising: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-26/facebook-s-mobile-ad-boom-provides-model-to-social-sites.html
  10. Sipface campaign: http://frappuccino.com/en-us/campaign/sipface
  11. SBUX: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=SBUX
  12. keeping track of that data: https://www.facebook.com/help/364957366911074

Source URL: http://investorplace.com/2013/08/study-shows-people-hate-selfies/
Short URL: http://invstplc.com/1fsMAnG