Selfie, a phenomenon that has created a raging trend across borders is no unknown territory! A ripple effect of sorts, everyone has caught the bug of this trend. It all began in 1839, when selfie meant a self-portrait by adjusting oneself in the frame of their camera and struggling for a minute to capture the perfect selfie. Cut to the modern age where a minute is all it takes to build an empire of perfect selfies!
All thanks to the camera technology and the gaining popularity of the front-facing cameras since 2010 which is when front cameras with improvised generations of smartphones started entering the market. The trend went on to become such a success that Merriam-Webster added “selfie” to the dictionary in 2014, and it was also the Oxford Dictionary word of the year in 2013.
But the question is—Why has the trend caught on so much? The answer lies within ourselves, the selfie generation. In this modern day and age, people are interested in bringing out their best whether it be their personal lives or careers, and the same holds true for selfies! Selfies have become a means to present oneself in the most beautiful way. People invest time in creating selfies that are spot on and label them as ‘The Selfie Expert’. The focus is to create images that are beautiful than ever before.
A great camera experience brings about a beautiful change in one’s life. Earlier this power resided in just the rear camera (primary) but now it has gradually shifted to the front camera, making it one of the most important features to be considered while making a purchase decision. Brands have realised this and are now investing in camera technologies that make user’s lives more beautiful via the front camera experience.
Over the past two years, in a bid to create beautiful memories brands have embraced selfies more than ever. They have been using social media to run online selfie contests further encouraging the trend. Consumers are also investing time in further enhancing their selfies through inbuilt software which makes images look flawless and naturally beautiful. This basically means that brands need to start focusing on offering advanced solutions and software to leverage on the selfie mania.
Earlier the front-facing camera wasn’t a priority as it was merely used for video calls or it acted as a mirror for many. But with its growing popularity, it’s important to offer an unusual experience wherein one cannot just click selfies easily but also bring about changes in just one tap making the end product look naturally beautiful. Social media is also an important factor to the growing popularity of selfies with users uploading their selfie moments on trending apps and platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
It’s interesting to see how earlier DSLRs were the only source of high resolution images. Now with compact cameras and high resolution sensors built into a smaller device, smartphones have replaced the DSLRs. With various improvisations in the camera phone technology, phone cameras have become the easiest, handy and non-complicated device for best pictures.
As per the Counterpoint Research, India has become the world’s second largest smartphone market. Brands have also realised the potential of the Indian market and have made inroads into the preference list of several Indian consumers. Other factors that are driving this growth in the country are the emergence of 4G and the usage patterns of the Indian youth. With 4G, the connectivity is way faster.
Talking about usage patterns, the Indian youth is spending a great amount of time on their smartphones with selfies being a major activity. The way consumers choose and buy smartphones is continuously evolving. The current trend indicates that increasingly smartphones are doubling up as cameras. The other major feature that influences a buying decision is battery life and strength. With users spending hours and hours on their smartphones clicking selfies, battery life and camera technology are the areas that will experience more innovation.
We are now engaged with this phenomenon for times to come. The selfie culture is going to evolve further basis advancement in technology. How smartphone brands bring in newer camera technologies to make our lives beautiful and easier is something we will need to wait and see.
The writer is global VP & president of Oppo India