Hybrid Content Analysis of the Most Popular Politicians’ Selfies on Twitter
The growing presence of selfies on the Web proves how personal photography is changing its role: from a tool for documenting everyday lives to an identity-building resource used to create life narratives, to be shared with a public that is constantly connected online. Our definition of a ‘selfie’ includes those personal snapshots that: (a) are created with the awareness of belonging to a specific genre of self-portraits; (b) combine textual and iconic dimensions; and (c) are distributed in one’s own social network. Our claim is that selfies offer the opportunity to experiment with diverse prospects of self-presentation, especially thanks to their framing power. Using Goffman’s theory, we claim that every selfie produces a framing effect that can relate more or less with the main frame in which the snapshot is taken. The aim of this paper is to explore how the framing effect of a selfie affects the politics of self-representation of individuals whose role expectations are quite obvious, such as political figures. Taking advantage of this framing effect, our findings show how politicians use selfies as a strategic self-promotion tool.