‘Photobombing’ represents a gesture of disobedience acting as an expression of wider dissatisfactions, according to social media researchers at Sheffield University.
But the phenomenon - along with the ‘selfie’ - shows the growing importance of photography within popular culture, according to a team looking at social media images.
Team member Anne Burns said: “The photobomb is a moment of transgression, in which the rules of photography are both exposed and undermined, with often humorous and strange results.
“It may reflect dissatisfactions with the artificiality of photographic harmony, or as a response to an austere and fractured political climate.”
Dr Francesco D’Orazio added: “Photobombing aims at shattering the glossy perfection of the staged self-representation. It helps us remember there’s more to reality than the staged, polished version of ourselves social media is so good at.”