The 50 best influencers in the world on social media platforms
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|
|# 2||Justin Bieber||music||455M|
|# 3||Ariana Grande||music||429M|
|# 4||Selena Gomez||music||425M|
|# 5||Taylor Swift||music||361M|
|# 6||Dwayne Johnson||Movies & TV||342M|
|# 7||Katy Perry||music||338M|
|# 10||Kim Kardashian||Other||319M|
|# 11||Lionel Messi||Sports||298M|
|# 14||Jennifer Lopez||music||277M|
|# 16||Ellen DeGeneres||Movies & TV||260M|
|# 17||Miley Cyrus||music||235M|
|# 18||Nicki Minaj||music||232M|
|# 19||Barack Obama||politics||221M|
|# 20||Will Smith||Movies & TV||217M|
|# 21||Kendall Jenner||Other||212M|
|# 22||Demi Lovato||music||211M|
|# 23||Lady Gaga||music||210M|
|# 24||Kevin Hart||Movies & TV||201M|
|# 25||Virat Kohli||Sports||195M|
|# 28||Khloe Kardashian||Other||191M|
|# 29||Bruno Mars||music||191M|
|# 30||Chris Brown||music||187M|
|# 31||Vin Diesel||Movies & TV||177M|
|# 32||Narendra Modi||politics||175M|
|# 33||Justin Timberlake||music||175M|
|# 34||Billie Eilish||music||171M|
|# 35||Charli D’Amelio||Other||169M||Tick tock|
|# 36||Kourtney Kardashian||Other||165M|
|# 37||Cardi B||music||160M|
|# 38||Lebron James||Sports||157M|
|# 40||Priyanka Chopra||Movies & TV||144M|
|# 41||German Garmendia||Games||143M||Youtube|
|# 42||Wiz Khalifa||music||142M|
|# 43||Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg||Games||141M||Youtube|
|# 44||Akshay kumar||Movies & TV||140M|
|# 45||Sniffer dog||music||138M|
|# 46||Deepika Padukone||Movies & TV||138M|
|# 47||Britney Spears||music||137M|
|# 48||Shawn Mendes||music||136M|
|# 49||Whindersson Nunes Batista||Other||135M|
|# 50||Salman Khan||Movies & TV||134M|
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|
|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. “