Of all stunts that Ellen DeGeneres pulled at Sunday’s Academy Awards, one that outlasted the excitement of the evening couldn’t have happened without Twitter.
By simply urging a few well-dressed Oscar nominees — and others sitting in the front rows of the ceremony — to huddle for a selfie photo, in the space of just an hour, DeGeneres managed to outdo the president.
The goal: make history by creating the most retweeted tweet of all time. In the end, the social TV audience, already buzzing since red carpet arrivals, made the mission easier than ordering some pizza for the Oscars crowd (DeGeneres did that, too).
To the tune of 2 million retweets by night’s end, Oscars host DeGeneres’ celebrity-stuffed selfie effortlessly beat the previous record held by President Barack Obama’s 2012 post-election tweet. Obama’s record-breaking tweet was also a photo, one in which he embraces the first lady, posted with the message “Four more years.”
DeGeneres’ group shot boasted a bevy of Oscar nominees — Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence and half of Jared Leto’s head.
“If only Bradley’s arm was longer,” DeGeneres tweeted, via her @TheEllenShow account. “Best photo ever. #oscars”
Much was made of the selfie acting as product placement for Samsung, since DeGeneres had Cooper take the photo on a Samsung Galaxy, but DeGeneres’ iPhone tweets throughout the ceremony seemed to belie that intent.
Regardless, it was mission accomplished for the Oscars host. “1M RTs” popped up as a Twitter topic after the photo hit 1 million retweets.
“We crashed and broke Twitter,” DeGeneres announced during the Oscars broadcast — there was indeed a temporary network problem.
The selfie currently claims more than 3 million retweets. Obama’s: less than 800,000.