Huffpost Technology

Confirmed: Ellen's Spontaneous Oscar Selfie Was Not Quite As Spontaneous As It Seemed

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Like probably a lot of us, Ellen Degeneres doesn’t really know how to use a Samsung phone.

Samsung executives reportedly had to teach the lovable talk show host how to use a Galaxy Note 3 before the Oscars, according to the Wall Street Journal. And it’s a good thing too: Ellen’s Samsung-sponsored selfie got the company some prime advertising that’s perhaps worth more than the $20 million the WSJ estimates the tech giant spent on ads during the Oscars.

That’s because the lame attempt at proving that celebrities are just like us! turned out to be the most retweeted photo in history. And the WSJ confirms what we probably all already knew -- the seemingly organic moment between Ellen, Bradley Cooper, Meryl Streep and pretty much every other famous person alive was basically product placement.

In a statement to NBC, Samsung claimed it didn't direct Ellen to take the selfie or pay specifically for her to take it with a Samsung phone. The smartphone giant also announced that it would donate $3 million to Ellen's two favorite charities in honor of the 3 million retweets the photo received.

Here's said photo in case you've been living under a rock:

ellen selfie

Samsung apparently needs the help looking cool. As New York Magazine’s Kevin Roose points out, there’s no shortage of stories about celebs actually using iPhones when they’re supposed to be shilling for Samsung (Ellen included). Even a UK judge noted that Samsung’s Galaxy tablet is just “not as cool” as an iPad in a ruling declaring shoppers would never confuse the two devices.

Despite lacking in cool, Samsung phones are still more popular. Globally, the company sold 319.8 million smartphones, or about 32 percent of the market, compared to Apple’s 153.5 million iPhones or just 15.5 percent of the market, according to Reuters.

Samsung didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post.

This post has been updated to include Samsung's statement to NBC.

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