Twitter Mirror lets superstars send out 'selfies' to the world


By Noel Young | Correspondent

December 11, 2013 | 4 min read

Celebrity selfies- taken by the celebs themselves - are making a big hit in the US thanks to those enterprising guys at Twitter.

Selfies by the stars!

It's all down to the so-called Twitter Mirror - Twitter’s name for a tablet with a filigree frame programmed for VIP events . Celebrities stand before it, tap the screen, take a few moments to pose, approve the photo or retake it and send it out through the event's Twitter feed..

Installed by Twitter, the Mirror is now to be found just offstage at awards shows in the US and in talk-show greenrooms, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The company last month installed the first permanent Twitter Mirror in the greenroom of late night show Jimmy Kimmel Live . Guests appearing on the show can take a self-portrait and tweet to the 377,000 followers of the show's Twitter feed that they're about to appear on stage.

"Our job is to get everyone at home on Twitter to say, 'Oh my God, watching TV with Twitter is so much fun,' " says Fred Graver, the company's head of TV.

The Grammys used a Mirror backstage in February, the Oscars had one in the greenroom two weeks later. The American Music Awards used it to capture 360-degree images in November.

Says the Journal, “With red-carpet events like New Year's Eve shows and the Golden Globes on the horizon, Instagram and its owner, Facebook, are crowding into this new type of promotion.

Twitter says the Mirror lets the public into exclusive venues to see famous people in less guarded moments.

Celebrities could just shoot their own smartphone pictures. Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron controversally even appeared in one by Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandela's memorial.

The Mirror makes it easy for them to not just promote themselves, but the shows as well, by adding hashtags to the image and sending the photos out from the feed of the programs they're appearing on.

"The Mirror photos are more of a contrast to the standard paparazzi, red-carpet, step-and-repeat choreography where you see all of the exact same poses in every celebrity gossip mag," says Andrew McClain, of Twitter who oversees the Mirror.

Doug DeLuca, the show's co-executive producer, says the hope is for tweeted sneak peeks to drive viewers to the show.

Donna Karan and Barbra Streisand posed together at the Mirror in the greenroom during the 2013 Oscars.

The Mirror had its origins in London. It is Based on the use of a pool camera that tweeted shots during the 2012 Olympics in London, Next came the idea for a device that would take behind-the-scenes photos at New York Fashion Week.

The Mirror itself was designed by McClain, an actor and engineer who came to Twitter when it acquired his startup, Fluther.

For its test run, the Mirror was affixed to a wall at the reception of McClain's own wedding.

McClain told the WSJ said he had a hard time convincing Tom Hanks to use the Mirror at the Tonys, since he wanted to take his own backstage pictures.


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