Never mind that the groundbreaking film “12 Years a Slave” took the Oscar for best picture Sunday. Thanks to Ellen DeGeneres’ celeb-studded photo, the 2014 Academy Awards will go down as the Year of the Selfie.
By Monday afternoon, the photo — with stars including Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey and Brad Pitt — had been retweeted some 2.8 million times, shattering the previous record of 810,000 retweets for the photo of President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hugging after the 2012 election.
Twitter was humming at 254,644 tweets per minute after DeGeneres’ request to retweet it, and the company said the crush disrupted service for 20 minutes.
The photo also represents a murky example of what is or isn’t product placement in today’s hyper-marketed world. Would the world’s most retweeted photo have been shot by an iPhone if Samsung hadn’t been a commercial sponsor of the Academy Awards? DeGeneres handed a Samsung device to Cooper to take the selfie, but the Oscars host’s Twitter posts from backstage included shots from an iPhone. Hmmm.