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We really, really liked it: How Ellen DeGeneres’s star-studded selfie made Twitter history

This image released by Ellen DeGeneres shows actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyong’o Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a "selfie" portrait on a cellphone during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Ellen DeGeneres/AP

Oscar made Twitter history Sunday night thanks to a selfie. Specifically, host Ellen DeGeneres made Twitter history with a selfie.

About halfway through the broadcast, DeGeneres went into the audience to grab a photo with best actress nominee Meryl Streep, who holds the record for most Oscar nominations. It wasn't long before other celebs were being welcomed in to the selfie, including Bradley Cooper, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong'o, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. The photo, posted on DeGeneres's Twitter account at 10:06 p.m. ET (complete with Kevin Spacey photobomb), appeared to literally break Twitter for a few minutes, because so many people were retweeting it.

It didn't take long for people to begin photoshopping others in to the picture. One such photo making the rounds on social media featured Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in place of Bradley Cooper.

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The photo now holds the record for the most popular tweet ever. Just after the broadcast ended, it had been retweeted more than two-million times – more than double the previous record holder (Barack Obama, who tweeted a photo of himself hugging wife Michelle after winning the 2012 U.S. presidential election).

Perhaps the real winner of the evening is Samsung. The company is an Oscar sponsor, and DeGeneres was giddily taking pictures on her Samsung Galaxy Note 3, throughout the show. Maybe she just really likes the phone. But she also switched to her iPhone backstage. Several websites noticed the apparent slip.

Debates about sponsored content probably won't make it into the history books alongside DeGeneres's tweet, however.

Perhaps, though, there will be debate about just what the selfie said about this year's show. Was it a sign of the TV talk-show host's easy-going manner? One person tweeted that she was doing a wonderful job of humanizing stars. Or was it a branded exercise in heaping more self-congratulation onto an awards show that has never lacked for it?

One thing certainly seems beyond debate. Everyone loves a selfie. Pack it with Oscar celebs and everyone really, really loves a selfie.

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More


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