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Understanding the selfie phenomenon: current insights and future research directions

Weng Marc Lim (School of Business, Monash University Malaysia, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia and Faculty of Business and Design, Swinburne University of Technology, Kuching, Malaysia)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 12 September 2016




This paper aims to define the conceptual boundary of the selfie and to discuss the role of the selfie in the social media marketplace.


This paper extensively reviews and draws themes from the extant literature on consumer identities in the social media marketplace to explain the selfie phenomenon and to identify potentially fruitful directions for further research.


Current insights into the selfie phenomenon can be understood from socio-historical, technological, social media, marketing and ethical perspectives.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the limitations of a general review (e.g. absence of empirical data and analysis), this paper identifies multiple avenues to extend existing lines of inquiry on the selfie phenomenon. Thus, this paper should encourage further research on the topic in the academic and scientific community.

Practical implications

The selfie can be used as a marketing tool to improve marketing performance and accomplish marketing-related goals.


This paper sheds light on how marketing academics and practitioners can better understand the impact of the selfie in the social media marketplace.



Lim, W.M. (2016), "Understanding the selfie phenomenon: current insights and future research directions", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 50 No. 9/10, pp. 1773-1788.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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