Thais somehow lose selfie race

THAILAND - Time magazine on Tuesday named two neighbouring cities in the Philippines as the "selfie capital of the world", with 258 persons out of every 100,000 taking a selfie on any given day.

In a graphic titled "Selfiest Cities in the World", Time said Makati, the Philippines' financial centre, and Pasig together "produce more selfies per capita than any other city in the world". Makati and Pasig - both in Metro Manila, which comprises the capital and several surrounding cities - have a combined population of about 1.2 million.

A third Philippine city, Cebu, was ranked ninth, and a fourth, Baguio, was in the top 20. Two Malaysian cities - Petaling Jaya in Selangor state and George Town in Penang - were also in the top 10. Singapore ranked 53rd at 46 per 100,000.

Thailand edged onto the list with Nonthaburi placing 44th at 50 selfie-takers per 100,000 people. Why Bangkok's neighbouring province - largely urban but without a distinct "city" identity of its own - outranked the capital isn't clear from the magazine graphic.

Time editor Chris Wilson says the numbers were culled from a database of 400,000 Instagram photos tagged "selfie" that were posted across 459 cities. The photos were uploaded between January 28 and February 2 and from March 3 to 7.

"While the metric of 'people who take selfies per capita' is far from a perfect measure, it was far and away the most comprehensive means of comparing the 459 world cities that turned up at least 25 individual users in the database," says Wilson.

"Of course, this measure takes in more variables than just a penchant for selfies, such as smartphone adoption rates and median income. As such, this list tends to favour regions just outside major urban areas."

A "selfie" is a low-resolution, self-shot photograph taken typically with a mobile phone.

The practice is hugely popular among the younger set, but world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, have been seen taking selfies.

A selfie taken by popular talk-show host Ellen Degeneres with a group of actors who attended the Academy Awards in Los Angeles earlier this month went viral.

The top 10 "selfiest cities of the world":
1. Makati and Pasig, the Philippines - 258 per 100,000
2. Manhattan, New York, US - 202 per 100,000
3. Miami, Florida, US - 155 per 100,000
4. Anaheim and Santa Ana, California, US - 147 per 100,000
5. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia - 141 per 100,000
6. Tel Aviv, Israel - 139 per 100,000
7. Manchester, England - 114 per 100,000
8. Milan, Italy - 108 per 100,000
9. Cebu City, the Philippines - 99 per 100,000
10. George Town, Malaysia - 95 per 100,000

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