An estimated 1.2 billion “selfies” were taken in the UK last year, as Britons’ fascination with their own faces shows no sign of abating.
Almost a third (31%) of Brits admits to have taken a picture of themselves in the past year with one in ten taking at least one per week, according to Ofcom.
The communications regulator said that the rise in smartphones with increasingly good cameras was potentially fuelling the craze. Just 22% of people said they mainly used a digital camera for photos
Jane Rumble, director of market intelligence at Ofcom, said: “Potentially this use of smartphones is fuelling the selfie phenomenon. Thirty one per cent of adults admit to taking a selfie and in fact just over one in ten are saying they take a selfie at least once a week. So from those figures what we estimate is that in the last year 1.2 billion selfies have been taken in the UK.”
Selfies have become a fixture of social media including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, with everyone from celebrities like Kim Kardashian to politicians vying for re-election to the average punter on the street picturing themselves in exotic and not so exotic locations.
A selfie taken by Bradley Cooper at the Oscars last year - picturing the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey - was shared on Twitter by chat show host Ellen DeGeneres and became the most retweeted photograph ever on Twitter.
But they are not universally popular. Selfie sticks, described by the online Collins dictionary as “an elongated stick to which you attach a camera or mobile phone to take a better photo”, have been banned by venues including the National Gallery, the O2 arena and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
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