James Franco Defends The Power Of Selfies In NY Times Essay

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James Franco selfie

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This Franco selfie, posted last week, got over 73,000 likes.

Actor James Franco recently wrote an essay for the New York Times titled "The Meanings of the Selfie," in which he explains why he so strongly supports people posting photos of themselves to social media.

He begins by saying what not to do to gain more followers.

"I can see which posts don’t get attention or make me lose followers," Franco explains. "Those with photos of art projects; videos telling the haters to go away (in not so many words); and photos with poems."

The "Pineapple Express" actor argues that "a well-stocked collection of selfies seems to get attention. And attention seems to be the name of the game when it comes to social networking."

Franco adds, "I’ve learned that the selfie is one of the most popular ways to post — and garner the most likes from followers."

And he's right.

A post of art on James Franco's Instagram account garnered nearly 25,000 likes:

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James Franco art instagram

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But an average selfie like the below from Franco receives over 80,000 likes:

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James Franco selfie tiger

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Franco explains the power of a celebrity selfie:

" We speak of the celebrity selfie, which is its own special thing. It has value regardless of the photo’s quality, because it is ostensibly an intimate shot of someone whom the public is curious about. It is the prize shot that the paparazzi would kill for, because they would make good money; it is the shot that the magazines and blogs want, because it will get the readers close to the subject."

But he adds that followers are beneficial for every industry:

"The power to attract viewers amid the sea of things to read and watch is power indeed. It’s what the movie studios want for their products, it’s what professional writers want for their work, it’s what newspapers want — hell, it’s what everyone wants: attention."

And if you don't post selfies, don't expect a follow from Franco.

"I am actually turned off when I look at an account and don’t see any selfies, because I want to know whom I’m dealing with. In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, 'Hello, this is me.'"

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James Franco selfie

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Read Franco's NY Times essay in its entirety here >



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