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Are People Over The Perfect Selfie? This Travel World Record Holder Thinks So And He Tells Us What’s Coming Next…

James Asquith was the youngest person to travel to all 196 countries at the age of 24 – and now he’s set up a travel app called Holiday Swap for swapping homes.


Besides being the CEO of Holiday Swap he is a full time Instagram travel reviewer with nearly 700k followers, he says things have changed, audiences aren’t engaging the way they used to. 


Want to know how things have changed and why? Below is our exclusive interview with James Asquith on trying to break the perfect Instagram stigma

Oh, and don’t forget to read our coverage of why Holiday Swap is the new Airbnb here.

Why have you noticed people aren’t responding to the perfect selfie anymore?
This just doesn’t resonate well with people anymore. Partially this could be jealousy but also that some of these pictures are just so unattainable to most and detached from reality. Sure, the content looks nice, but this is not most of our reality.

Why do you think this is? 
People want real experiences, and a realistic outtake. If you arrive in a stunning destination, you don’t want it to disappoint become someone has spent hours planning out the perfect unrealistic picture. The social world cannot, for our mental wellbeing, be better than the real world situation we experience, and unfortunately with content becoming more and more unrealistic (cue couples hanging out of trains in Sri Lanka kissing for example), I think the audience wants beautiful content but in a real life setting.

How are you posting differently to connect with new audiences?
Most of what I post is real life. Some of it is lazy to an extent but it’s with an iPhone, and it is what I see. I have absolutely no idea how to use presets or editing software, but there’s a lot of reality that comes with that, and my audience seems to be able to connect with it. Sure, there is better content out there – but it doesn’t feel real to most people. If the destination is stunning enough, then that in itself should be enough, without editing people and real life out of pictures to get that ‘perfect’ shot that leads to an imperfect reality when we experience it for real.


What do you think is coming next after the perfect selfie?
Still beautiful content, but less edits, less presents, and a lot less of this staged fluff. I get a huge amount of feedback with people saying that ‘influencers’ don’t relate to them anymore, and it simply leads to a double tap and people moving on.


How can others just starting out engage new audiences? 
Be a storyteller. People want a story, and to feel and understand what you are seeing, experiencing. Bringing your audience with you for the ride in a destination. Sometimes, it may even be worth turning the camera around the other way and seeing the reality behind that ‘perfect shot’. But, people with real talents for adventure, photography and everything in between with a story and a mission are what resonates with me, not a set up and overly edited picture.