An estimated 1.2 billion selfies were taken in the UK in 2014, according to a new report from communications regulator Ofcom, with one in ten people admitting to snapping one at least once a week in a sample size of 3,756. Ofcom’s 2015 Communications Market Report also found that smartphones have overtaken laptops as the most popular way of getting online, with two-thirds of people polled owning one and using it for an average of nearly two hours a day. Of Internet users, 33% said they see their smartphone as the most important device for going online, compared to 30% who opted for their laptops.
The regulator’s director of market intelligence, Jane Rumble, explained how they came to the 1.2 billion figure. “31% of adults admit to taking a selfie and in fact just over one in 10 are saying they take a selfie at least once a week,” she said. “So from those figures what we estimate is that in the last year 1.2 billion selfies have been taken in the UK.”
However, a large majority of these self-portraits could end up lost in the ether. Most people don’t bother backing up their digital pictures, which means they could be gone forever when the phone inevitably gets lost, broken, or discarded for the latest version. Less than a third of adults (31%) back up their snaps, the survey says. Younger people aged 16 to 34 are slightly more likely to bother with a backup.