An Analysis of Selfies
(NEW YORK) — A group of researchers decided to focus on selfies and recently analyzed a random selection of 656,000 Instagram photos taken in New York, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Bangkok and Moscow to look for insights on gender behavior, age, happiness and even head tilt.
The team led by Lev Manovich, a professor of computer science at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York, and Moritz Stefaner, an information-visualization consultant based in Lilienthal, Germany, decided to “investigate selfies using a mix of theoretic, artistic and quantitative methods.”
- Individuals take fewer selfies than often assumed. Depending on the city, only 3 to 5 percent of the images analyzed were actually selfies.
- In every city analyzed, there were significantly more women selfies than men selfies. In Moscow, there were 4.6 times more female than male selfies.
- The estimated median age of the people in the selfies was 23.7 years. Bangkok is the youngest city (21.0), whereas New York City is the oldest (25.3).
- The average age of men in selfies is higher than that of women in every city.
- Women’s selfies feature more expressive poses. The average amount of head tilt for women is 150 percent higher than for men: 12.3 degrees vs. 8.2 degrees.
- Ladies in Sao Paulo had the most extreme head tilt — 16.9 degrees.
- People taking selfies in Bangkok are the happiest (0.68 average smile score) while people taking selfies in Moscow smile the least (only 0.53 on the smile score scale).
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