Living in the days of the digital era, it comes to no surprise that online influence is measured in the number system.
From platform to platform, amassing followings brings an extent of perks along with the notoriety and fame. Being the most influential person on Twitter allows for the possible blast of information in written form to millions in the blink of an eye.
Having a cult-like following on Instagram means you are the key prospect for branded campaigns. Having the power of the users on TikTok gives you the ability to create trends that can be followed by millions of people worldwide, all in the span of a single week. And so on and so forth with YouTube, FaceBook, Twitch, Pinterest, etc.
Social media is the driving force in online influence. From what consumers buy, how they dress, which music is of interest to them, and where they spend their free time. It’s all influenced by social media, as these platforms have begun to act as a behavior change module for creators and content consumers alike.
Instead of looking at who is breaking into the influencer space, through the help of VisualCap we are able to identify which social media creators have the largest following across all platforms.
The data was collected by examining all of the leading social media influencers, which are quantified by summing their total unique followers across all platforms and ranking from most followed and down.
Chart toppers may not surprise anyone, as we see large scale American music artists like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Rihanna all checking in with Top-Ten slots. On top of them all, though – is the Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. With fans and followers spanning the entire world, Ronaldo has a total of 517M followers across all of his social media accounts. Imagine how hard it must be to have him as your next brand ambassador.
It’s no surprise that celebrities own these charts. In the digital era, it would be quite impossible to have hundreds of millions of eyes on your every social media post and not be considered some degree of a celebrity.
Music artists, which make up more than half of the list (26 of the top 50 list) earned their spots by having such diverse international fan bases. The power of streaming apps like Apple Music and Spotify make it so easy for people all over the world to discover new artists and learn about their music from anywhere with wifi connectivity.
As far as the Kardashian family goes, it is to no surprise that they ranked very highly in the list. From their hit show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, all of the family members amassed international stardom over the years. Kylie Jenner is the most followed in the family, holding the #8 slots with 334M followers and counting. From cosmetics and lifestyle, to redefining Pop-Culture, their family does it all.
This data shows the true power and influence that Instagram has on content consumers. It’s something that is built into all of our everyday lives. Of the Top 50 Influencers, Instagram was the most popular social media for 67% of the creators.
The only star to make it to this list from international fame on TikTok was millennial creator Charli D’Amelio. With 119 million followers (which have liked her posts an accumulative 9.3 billion times) she has risen to stardom off the video sharing platform. Her influence dives deep when it comes to the Gen Z market, and she even just released her own drink “The Charli” at Dunkin’ Donuts stores nationwide.
If you’ve been around the YouTube space for a while, there is no shock to see Felix Kjellberg, also known as “PewDiePie” charting. He is not the only YouTuber to make it to this list, as me must note Germán Garmendia and Whindersson Nunes Batista.
On the Twitter side of things, former U.S. President Barack Obama topped the charts with the most Twitter followers (129M) and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (68.3M). Former U.S. President Donald Trump was in the lead with 140 million Twitter followers until being banned from the social media platform.
Who Follows Who?
We’re not expecting middle age millennial media consumers to follow Charli’s every TikTok move, nor do we think the Gen Z users keep up too much with Ellen DeGeneres.
Leading the follower count amongst the Gen Z consumers is Kylie Jenner
Leading the follower count across the Millennial consumers is Cristiano Ronaldo
Leading the follower count across the Gen X consumers is Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson
Leading the follower count across the Baby Boomer consumers is Ellen Degeneres
The younger the social media users are, the more likely they are to know more and more names on the Top 50 Leaders In Social Media list. I’m sure if you were to ask an active social media teenager to describe 75% of this list to you, they could with ease. That’s the power of social media.
Platforms like Instagram, Tiktok, YouTube, and Twitter make it so easy for the everyday person to keep up with the lives of celebrities, no matter how large the distance between the two people are.
These social media platforms work as behavior change modules for those who consume content on them. From what they buy, to what they wear, all the way through to how they dance and what music they listen to. A lot of that influence begins on social media.