The majority of the selfies posted on social media are uploaded by women. One in 10 of all selfies show signs of outright narcissism, says a new study.
The study conducted by the Australian National University analyzed 5000 selfies posted on social media website Instagram. The researchers found that 75 percent of the selfies were posted by women.
‘About 75 percent of selfies on social media are posted by women, and around one in 10 is posted by users purely looking to build an audience.’
About 35 percent of the selfies were autobiographical", or images depicting a person's life such as weddings, graduations, and even grocery shopping.
Study co-authors Dr Toni Eagar and Dr Stephen Dann said that users were mimicking business marketing practices to build their profile.
"These are people selling a view of their lifestyle or themselves, and the currency of the transaction is likes and follows. The aim is to build an audience and establish a type of fame or admiration on social media," said Dr Eagar.
Some Instagram users were running their accounts like a "commercial exchange" advertising themselves.
"It was very deliberate; they had plans and they clearly had ambitions. For those users, the goal was often to attract companies looking to promote their products, following a wider marketing trend moving away from celebrities to social media influencers."
Nine out of 10 selfies posted were not intended for self-promotion. There were more selfies aimed at friends and family than there were trying to gain an audience.
"It's neither narcissism nor self-empowerment. People are using selfies as a tool as part of their everyday life."
The study identified seven genres of selfies: the autobiographical selfie, the romance selfie, the parody selfie, the propaganda selfie, the coffee table selfie, the self-help selfie and the travel diary selfie.
The autobiographical selfie represented 35 percent of all selfies, followed by romance (21%), parody (12%), propaganda (11%), coffee table (9%), self-help (7%) and travel diary at (6%).
The study is the European Journal of Marketing.