[London, 9 December 2019] – New European research from global smartphone brand HONOR to celebrate the launch of the new HONOR 9X smartphone reveals the selfie is very much alive and well, with 85% of Europeans admitting they are taking more photos of themselves than ever before.
The selfie has been popular for more than a decade, with selfie-mania reaching world acclaim in 2013, when the Oxford English Dictionary named ‘selfie’ as its word of the year. The study of over 5,750 Europeans revealed that selfies are here to stay, with today’s Europeans taking a staggering 597 selfies of themselves a year, suggesting a growing need for smartphones, such as the HONOR 9X, with dedicated selfie cameras and AI camera technology. Spain take the most selfies in the region at 728 each a year, followed by Italy (718), Germany (588), France (562), the Netherlands (520) and the UK (468). Contrary to popular belief, the study revealed that men in the UK and Netherlands take more selfies per week than women, with men snapping an average of 11 photos a week compared to 9 for women.
Self-Expression Through Selfies
Across Europe, nearly half (45%) of the photos Europeans take on their smartphones are shared with friends and family on social media, revealing our tendency to share moments from our daily life with others. But even though it takes Europeans just 11 seconds to decide if a selfie makes the cut, we spend a further 26 minutes deliberating before it’s shared on social media, suggesting that we’re making conscious decisions about how we’re representing ourselves online.
Authentic, Unfiltered Content on the Rise
As a region, we’re posting more authentic content in 2019. In line with the global desire to fight unrealistic beauty standards portrayed in the media, make up free selfies are on the rise, particularly amongst young people, with 63% of 16 to 29-year olds in Europe confessing they take more natural selfies now compared to back in 2014. The study also found that Spain is leading the way when it comes to the #NoFilter trend, with 73% of people joining the movement and posting more unfiltered images to show off their authentic selves versus five years ago, followed closely by Italy (71%) and France (68%).
Capturing The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
With smartphones always by our sides, the increasing trend to take photos at any given moment has led to new break out genres of selfies emerging, with Europeans willing to bare all and share more intimate insights into their daily lives, rather than trying to portray perfection. The ‘sweaty post workout’ selfie, ‘cuddling my pet’, ‘in bed with my partner’ and ‘just got out of bed’ selfies have all gained traction in 2019, highlighting a shift towards posting our daily highs and lows, rather than just our ‘highlights reel’.
Nature Over Nightclubs
Shots of the natural world are also on the rise in 2019, perhaps driven by the global movement of eco-conscious millennials putting more emphasis on the environment. With time spent in the great outdoors lauded as one of the best ways to boost your health and wellbeing, it seems Europeans are keen to exhibit themselves amongst nature, with natural scenery, beaches and the ocean all making the hit list of most common snaps in 2019. The study also revealed that young Europeans are more likely to post a photo of themselves in the great outdoors than in a nightclub (62% take more photos in natural scenery today compared to five years ago, compared to only 16% who take more photos of themselves in nightclubs compared to five years ago), indicating a move towards documenting healthier lifestyles. The desire to capture expansive views has also led to the emergence of triple-lens cameras in smartphones like the HONOR 9X, which includes super wide-angle lens technology, making it easier than ever to shoot landscapes.
Influencing Others Through The Power of Imagery
In a period of much social change, the research also revealed that today’s Europeans use imagery to express ideas and shape opinions on social causes such as climate change. Across Europe, 61% of people admit they post photos on social media to spread the word about issues that are important to them and causes they believe in. Over half (55%) reveal they have gone so far as to change their minds about an important social issue after being exposed to an image, while a further 55% believe images on social media provide a more accurate representation of social issues these days, compared to other forms of media such as TV and newspapers.
2020 and Beyond
As the famous saying goes, a picture tells a thousand words and it seems image sharing is here to stay in 2020 and beyond. Across the board, the study found that 16 to 29 year olds take 16% more photos on their smartphones than those over 30, suggesting that the next generation are likely to continue communicating through imagery, using social media to inspire and engage their audiences. More than one third of Europeans (35%) go as far to say they could imagine communicating solely through images in the future.
“With smartphones always in our pockets, it has become easier than ever to snap and share content from the world around us and it’s interesting to see the growing trend towards sharing more natural, authentic content. Whereas selfies used to be reserved for nights out and special occasions, it seems as a nation, we’re more open to capturing and posting images that show who we really are and what we stand for,” said [HONOR Country Manager] “The brand new HONOR 9X is kitted out with a 48MP Triple Camera and a pop-up selfie camera, making it easier than ever to capture extraordinary images of the moments that matter.”
Featuring a 48MP Triple Camera set up on the back and a 16MP Pop Up Selfie Camera at the front, the HONOR 9X takes stunning studio-quality shots for just £249.99, while its 4,000mAH battery life means you never have to worry about running out of charge when capturing all of life’s great moments For more information, visit www.hihonor.com/mea/.
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Notes to editors:
Research carried out by GingerComms on behalf of HONOR on 2,053 UK adults and 750 adults in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands between 14 – 18 November 2019.