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The 50 best influencers in the world on social media platforms

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In the modern digital world, social media reach is power.

For example, the people with the most followers on Twitter have a huge platform to get their messages across, while those with large, engaged followers on Instagram are an advertiser’s dream partner.

Social media can also be a balance of power. Although many celebrities have a large fan base across platforms, social media has also made it possible for previously unknown personalities to turn YouTube or TikTok fame into veritable star power and influence.

Who has the greatest reach in the entire social media universe? Instead of examining who has the most followers on Instagram, Twitter or other networks, we ranked the personalities with the most followers on all major platforms together.

Who has the most followers on social media?

We scoured hundreds of the most tracked accounts across multiple platforms to narrow down the top influencers on social media as of April 2021.

The sources include trackers of most of the followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch and TikTok, which have been verified on site and with the social media tracker Socialblade.

The results? A top 50 list of social media influencers made up of athletes, musicians, politicians, and other personalities.

rank Surname category Total number of followers Biggest platform
#1 Cristiano Ronaldo Sports 517M Instagram
# 2 Justin Bieber music 455M Instagram
# 3 Ariana Grande music 429M Instagram
# 4 Selena Gomez music 425M Instagram
# 5 Taylor Swift music 361M Instagram
# 6 Dwayne Johnson Movies & TV 342M Instagram
# 7 Katy Perry music 338M Instagram
#8th Kylie Jenner Other 333M Instagram
# 9 Rihanna music 332M Twitter
# 10 Kim Kardashian Other 319M Instagram
# 11 Lionel Messi Sports 298M Instagram
# 12 Neymar Sports 283M Instagram
# 13 Shakira music 282M Facebook
# 14 Jennifer Lopez music 277M Instagram
#fifteen Beyoncé music 267M Instagram
# 16 Ellen DeGeneres Movies & TV 260M Instagram
# 17 Miley Cyrus music 235M Instagram
# 18 Nicki Minaj music 232M Instagram
# 19 Barack Obama politics 221M Twitter
# 20 Will Smith Movies & TV 217M Facebook
# 21 Kendall Jenner Other 212M Instagram
# 22 Demi Lovato music 211M Instagram
# 23 Lady Gaga music 210M Twitter
# 24 Kevin Hart Movies & TV 201M Instagram
# 25 Virat Kohli Sports 195M Instagram
# 26 Eminem music 194M Facebook
# 27 drake music 192M Instagram
# 28 Khloe Kardashian Other 191M Instagram
# 29 Bruno Mars music 191M Facebook
# 30 Chris Brown music 187M Instagram
# 31 Vin Diesel Movies & TV 177M Facebook
# 32 Narendra Modi politics 175M Twitter
# 33 Justin Timberlake music 175M Twitter
# 34 Billie Eilish music 171M Instagram
# 35 Charli D’Amelio Other 169M Tick ​​tock
# 36 Kourtney Kardashian Other 165M Instagram
# 37 Cardi B music 160M Instagram
# 38 Lebron James Sports 157M Instagram
# 39 Adele music 156M Facebook
# 40 Priyanka Chopra Movies & TV 144M Instagram
# 41 German Garmendia Games 143M Youtube
# 42 Wiz Khalifa music 142M Facebook
# 43 Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg Games 141M Youtube
# 44 Akshay kumar Movies & TV 140M Instagram
# 45 Sniffer dog music 138M Instagram
# 46 Deepika Padukone Movies & TV 138M Instagram
# 47 Britney Spears music 137M Twitter
# 48 Shawn Mendes music 136M Instagram
# 49 Whindersson Nunes Batista Other 135M Instagram
# 50 Salman Khan Movies & TV 134M Facebook

Unsurprisingly, celebrities have the upper hand on social media. As of April 2021, soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was the most followed person on social media with more than 500 million total followers.

But there are other illuminating highlights, such as the global reach of music. With large and diverse fan bases, artists make for half of the top 50 biggest social media followers.

Also noteworthy is the power of Instagram, the largest platform for 67% of the top 50 Social media influencer. This includes hard-to-categorize celebrities like the Kardashians and Jenners who turned reality TV and social media fame into business and media empires.

Download the Generations Power Report (.pdf)

Most of the followers on Twitter, TikTok and YouTube

But not only celebrities dominate social media.

Personalities who started out on a social media platform and developed a huge fan base include TikTok’s most-followed star Charli D’Amelio and YouTubers Germán Garmendia, Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg and Whindersson Nunes Batista.

Politicians were also prominent influencers. Former US President Barack Obama has the most followers on Twitter, and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has more than 175 million followers across social media.

Former US President Donald Trump would also have made it to the list with more than 140 million followers on social media before being banned from multiple platforms on January 8, 2021.

A cross-generational look at the impact of social media

While older generations have had to adapt to social media platforms, younger generations have grown up with them. As a measure of cultural significance, this gives Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z a rare lead over older generations.

Millennials in particular hold the lion’s share of places in this top 50 list:

generation Number of influencers in the generation Top influencers of the generation
Gen Z 4th Kylie Jenner
Millennial 33 Cristiano Ronaldo
Gen X 10 Dwayne The Rock Johnson
Baby boomers 3 Ellen DeGeneres

The average age of the top 50 influencers was just over 37 years.

In our Generational Power Index (GPI), which measures the share of electricity generated in different categories, digital platforms were a key area from which millennials derived their power and influence. Overall, the baby boomers – and to a lesser extent Generation X – still run the show in most areas of society today.

Influence of social media in the future

As most fans and advertisers know, not all social media accounts and followers are homogeneous.

Many influencers with relatively small followers have more constant engagement and can often charge high advertising fees as a result.

Conversely, most social media platforms are expecting a huge flood of fake accounts or bots that increase the number of followers and affect everything from celebrities and politicians to personalities and companies.

Regardless, social media has become a supporting platform (or soap box) for today’s cultural influencers. Billions of people use social media for news, engagement, referrals, and entertainment, and new platforms are constantly on the rise.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of the data used for this story incorrectly counted Facebook Likes instead of Followers for some personalities. The content has since been corrected and updated. “

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