selfiecity, A Detailed Investigative Project That Looks Into the Style of Self-Portraits

Selfiecity Data Collection

selfiecity is a project coordinated by Dr. Lev Manovich of the City University of New York that investigates the ubiquitous selfie in what they call “a mix of theoretic, artistic and quantitative methods” including essays and data analysis. For the project, they culled 120,000 total photos from Instagram down to 640 selfies from five different cities (New York City, Bangkok, Sao Paulo, Berlin, and Moscow) for a grand total of 3,200 images.

Though the project boasts an impressive analysis of poses, age and gender profiles, smile distributions, and other data on a per-city basis, it’s important to note that 3,200 total images can be considered a small sample size, and a significant amount of the initial processing was done using Mechanical Turk workers — folks hired specifically to make a guess at certain things like age. It does provide some potentially interesting insights, however, like the fact that only 3-5% of the images the project initially analyzed were selfies.

All of the projects data, essays, and methods are available on its website.

Study Findings

Study Findings

via Kenyatta Cheese

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