2014 Instagram could never. What used to be a glossy platform, home to posed group shots and meticulously crafted flat lays, is now embracing the rise of anti-perfect content. The result? Enter the ‘meta selfie’.
We are experiencing a shift on Instagram right now. Users are no longer using the platform to share a grid of highly-edited perfect photos of themselves. Rather, there’s been a push for more ‘authentic’ content – the real-life stuff that actually reflects your day-to-day. Think blurry outfit photos, close-up crying photos and referential memes. To put it frankly: The blurrier and lower the quality, the better.
With this thirst for authenticity, we’ve seen the birth – and take-off – of the ‘meta selfie’. Seemingly, this is acting as a way to lift the curtain on the selfie and share a behind-the-scenes look at the process.
So what is a ‘meta selfie’?
Quite simply, it’s a photo of someone taking a selfie. There are different ways of taking a meta selfie, but the most common example appears to feature folks using the back camera of their phone to take a photo of themselves, then using the front camera of a second phone or camera to capture that ‘selfie’ moment. The result often looks like a selfie within a selfie (sometimes, within another selfie). Insert Inception reference, here.
Is Instagram consuming itself?
With their eerie surveillance-type feeling, namely pixelated screens, face-identifying yellow frames, and the red record buttons, this content reminds viewers that they exist within a microcosm of technology and data. The meta-selfie takes surveillance chic to a whole new level.
So, what does this trend say for the future of Instagram? While people used to go to great lengths to remove camera reflections from mirror selfies, this trend captures the selfie process in its entirety — literally. It comments on the selfie process. We don’t just see the edited and retouched end product; we see the framing, the dozens of shots it takes to get ‘the one’, and fingers hovering over camera buttons.
So will Instagram consume itself? We could not live on a diet of perfect avocado toast shots forever, so we’re ready for the next generation to shake things up.