Ego, the home of the Selfie

The selfie has become a worldwide phenomenon. Initially inspired by a technologically savvy generation, the selfie has quickly become ubiquitous.

Young and old alike snap photos of them- selves daily, whether doing something exciting or quite routine.

The act of taking a photo of oneself seems, at first, peculiar to some, and ludicrous to others. What is the purpose of snapping a photo of oneself? Doesn’t the traditional photograph serve us well enough? Ultimately, however, the selfie makes perfect sense. It is a product of innovation.

Ten years ago, by way of unwieldy technology, the selfie was impractical. Now, it is more convenient than the traditional photograph. The selfie captures moments that, in the past, would have been lost because there wasn’t a photographer present. The selfie is, simply put, the most practical way to capture life on camera.

For exactly this reason, the selfie has become popular across the globe. Peculiarly, however, there has never been a good spot to post selfies. The selfie has often appeared out of place among the multitude of traditional photos on Instagram or Facebook. Many more selfies sit on iPhone camera rolls than on Instagram or Facebook.

Snapchat is selfie friendly, yet if the selfie is a practical way to capture life, the short
duration of the Snapchat selfie is at odds with what most users want out of the selfie. With a wish to capture life’s moments, many users save Snapchat selfies.

Ultimately, the selfie has lacked a home in the realm of social media. In the fall of his senior year, Sam Waters, a senior at Duke University noticed this deficiency. He began to assemble a team to fill the gap. He hired designer John Holland, and programmers David Elsonbaty and Kurt DaCosta. This ultimately led to the launch of “Ego – Home of the Selfie” on the Apple App Store. As Waters describes it, “Instagram is for photos, YouTube is for videos, and Ego is for self- ies,” clearly defining the selfie as a unique form of expression in its own right.

Some claim the selfie is vain or
egocentric. The name “Ego,” according to Waters, is to confront that accusation directly. Yes, there is a self-centered nature to the selfie, yet it doesn’t have to have a negative
connotation. “There is such a thing as a healthy Ego boost,” says Waters. “It feels good to show a great moment to those around you. It’s human nature.” The lingo of the app is true to that notion. Instead of the traditional vernacular of “liking” a photo, users “boost” selfies.

During the final stages of programming, Waters hired fellow Duke classmate Serena Kerrigan to sell the selfie and the vision of the healthy ego boost. Kerrigan recruited Duke basketball star and NBA prospect Justise Winslow to appear in an Ego promotional video. “The idea was to engage the Duke student body first, and then let it grow organically from there,” explains Kerrigan.

In the past, the selfie lacked a true home in the realm of social media. Now, Ego is Home of the Selfie.

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