But first … let me take a selfie

Have you ever taken a selfie? Admit it, you have. Hopefully you did so without making the infamous “duck face” that is so common in selfies. The word “selfie” was used so much in the English vocabulary that the word was officially added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The dictionary defines “selfie” as: an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks. The word has been engrained in pop culture…seeping into the real of music. No lie: There is an official song called Selfie and it’s by The Chainsmokers. For those who actually like the song you can listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdemFfbS5H0. However, I’d suggest you save 3 minutes and 43 seconds of your life doing something more productive.

The selfie may not be as innocent as you might think. It’s no longer a matter of just taking a selfie and loading it to a social networking account for your friends to admire. No no my friends. Now it’s a way for marketing firms to mine data including information on brands. Simply put…your selfie is an ad. A new article in The Wall Street Journal states that digital marketing companies are searching, scanning, storing and repurposing images to draw insights for big-brand advertisers.

The article states that, “Some companies, such as Ditto Labs Inc., use software to scan photos — the image of someone holding a Coca-Cola can, for example — to identify logos, whether the person in the image is smiling, and the scene’s context. The data allow marketers to send targeted ads or conduct market research. Others, such as Piqora Inc., store images for months on their own servers to show marketers what is trending in popularity.”

Here’s an example of what these types of companies are capable of capturing from your selfie.

MK-CP928_PUBLIC_G_20141009135119Privacy watchdogs say these companies aren’t clearly communicating to users that their images could be scanned in bulk or downloaded for marketing purposes. Many users may not intend to promote, for instance, a pair of jeans they are wearing in a photo or a bottle of beer on the table next to them, the privacy experts say.

What do you think? Is this a little too “Big Brother” for your liking? Or do you think marketing firms have free reign on mining data when users upload images to public social networking sites?

Whatever your stance, contributors at Mashable collected five pieces of information about the history of a selfie (and what they consider social media’s most annoying fad).

So what do you say? Wanna take a selfie?


3 thoughts on “But first … let me take a selfie

  1. Wow – this is new to me. I was unaware brands were using people’s selfie photos to conduct market research and target people with ads. Marketers literally think of everything!! I have a “selfie” stick that I use when I’m camping. It’s an awesome gadget that holds my GoPro, but I don’t normally post my photos. Now if I do decide to share my “selfies” I’ll have to be careful where I post them and who can access them, that is unless GoPro wanted to pay me for my “selfie” photos 😉


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