London selfies are “most miserable” in the world, study shows

30 November 2015

Selfie takers in London the most miserable and old in the world, according to a survey commissioned by arts venue Somerset House. The survey drew together more than 150,000 selfies taken in London, Bangkok, Berlin, Moscow, New York and São Paulo, which were then analysed for age, gender and features including smiles and spectacles. According to Somerset House, “Londoners prefer more restrained, upright poses compared to their global counterparts and male selfie-takers in London are older than the average around the world.”

Data also showed that women take twice as many picyures of themselves than men in the capital, where 62.8% were women and 37.2% were men. The proportions of female selfies in the other cities are: 55.2% in Bangkok, 59.4% in Berlin, 61.6% in New York, 65.4% in Sao Paolo, 82.0% in Moscow.

The final piece, selfiecity, was created by designers including Moritz Stefaner; media researchers; information designers and data scientists. They drew together all public Instagram images posted during one week in September 2015 tagged with a location in a 5 × 5 km area around Somerset House. In total, this specific collection provided 152,462 images, of which at least 21,662 featured faces. A selection of 640 selfies were then analysed in detail looking at things like “emotional expression,” physical poses, gender and age. You can view the results of the project here&.

The piece forms part of Somerset House’s Big Bang Data exhibition, which opens on 3 December.


Somerset House: selfiecity

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Emily Gosling

Emily joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in the summer of 2014 after four years at Design Week. She is particularly interested in graphic design, branding and music. After working It's Nice That as both Online Editor and Deputy Editor, Emily left the company in 2016.

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