"It's not like I'm exposing myself or anything," he said in an interview Thursday.
Franco calls selfies and Instagram phenomena "that I am just playing around with like everybody else" to see what kind of reaction it evokes. He says when he takes pictures of himself, "It's almost like it's connected to you" and that by putting "that intimate space out there it's kind of this new thing that we're all getting used to."
He also says that it "obviously causes a lot of stir," noting that he was being asked about the photos by reporters.
The actor, author and director wrote in a New York Times essay last December titled "The Meanings Of The Selfie" that he has "become increasingly addicted to Instagram" and acknowledged that he has "been accused of posting too many of them."
Franco was recently caught trying to pick up a Scottish teenage girl on the photo-sharing app. He later apologized on the morning talk show "Live With Kelly and Michael," saying he used "bad judgment" and "learned my lesson."
Lately the actor, who currently stars in Broadway's "Of Mine and Men," has been posting shirtless photos of himself in bed. He even posted one this week showing him in bed with one of the stars of "Pretty Little Liars" with the caption, "BED SELFIE WITH KEEGAN ALLEN!!!!! TIME TO GO NUTS!!!!" Another selfie Keegan posted showed Franco smiling and that Keegan was wearing pants under their blanket.
Keegan has worked with Franco on three recent films: "The Sound and the Fury," ''Bukowski" and "Palo Alto," which Franco was promoting in the interview and will be released on May 9.
"Palo Alto" is a coming of age tale that focuses on the complications, emotions and romantic highs and lows of teens in high school. It is based on several linked stories Franco authored, also stars Emma Roberts and was directed by Francis Ford Coppola's granddaughter Gia.
Franco, who went to high school in Palo Alto in the 1990s, describes adolescence as "the major moment of transition" that is filled with "built-in drama."