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Visualizing the World’s Top 50 Influencers

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

The people with the most followers on Twitter, for example, have a massive platform to spread their messages, while those with large, engaged followings on Instagram are an advertiser’s dream sponsor partner.

Social media can also be an equalizer of power. It’s true that many celebrities boast large followings across platforms, but social media has also enabled previously unknown personalities to turn YouTube or TikTok fame into veritable star power and influence.

Who has the biggest reach across the entire social media universe? Instead of looking at who has the most followers on Instagram, Twitter, or other networks, we ranked the most-followed personalities across all major platforms combined.

Who Has the Most Overall Followers on Social Media?

We parsed through hundreds of the most-followed accounts on multiple platforms to narrow down the top influencers across social media as of April 2021.

Sources include trackers of the most followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok, verified directly on site and with social media tracker Socialblade.

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

RankNameCategoryTotal FollowersBiggest Platform

#1Cristiano RonaldoSports517MInstagram

#2Justin BieberMusic455MInstagram

#3Ariana GrandeMusic429MInstagram

#4Selena GomezMusic425MInstagram

#5Taylor SwiftMusic361MInstagram

#6Dwayne JohnsonFilm & TV342MInstagram

#7Katy PerryMusic338MInstagram

#8Kylie JennerOther333MInstagram

#9RihannaMusic332MTwitter

#10Kim KardashianOther319MInstagram

#11Lionel MessiSports298MInstagram

#12NeymarSports283MInstagram

#13ShakiraMusic282MFacebook

#14Jennifer LopezMusic277MInstagram

#15BeyoncéMusic267MInstagram

#16Ellen DeGeneresFilm & TV260MInstagram

#17Miley CyrusMusic235MInstagram

#18Nicki MinajMusic232MInstagram

#19Barack ObamaPolitics221MTwitter

#20Will SmithFilm & TV217MFacebook

#21Kendall JennerOther212MInstagram

#22Demi LovatoMusic211MInstagram

#23Lady GagaMusic210MTwitter

#24Kevin HartFilm & TV201MInstagram

#25Virat KohliSports195MInstagram

#26EminemMusic194MFacebook

#27DrakeMusic192MInstagram

#28Khloé KardashianOther191MInstagram

#29Bruno MarsMusic191MFacebook

#30Chris BrownMusic187MInstagram

#31Vin DieselFilm & TV177MFacebook

#32Narendra ModiPolitics175MTwitter

#33Justin TimberlakeMusic175MTwitter

#34Billie EilishMusic171MInstagram

#35Charli D’AmelioOther169MTikTok

#36Kourtney KardashianOther165MInstagram

#37Cardi BMusic160MInstagram

#38LeBron JamesSports157MInstagram

#39AdeleMusic156MFacebook

#40Priyanka ChopraFilm & TV144MInstagram

#41Germán GarmendiaGaming143MYoutube

#42Wiz KhalifaMusic142MFacebook

#43Felix “PewDiePie” KjellbergGaming141MYoutube

#44Akshay KumarFilm & TV140MInstagram

#45Snoop DoggMusic138MInstagram

#46Deepika PadukoneFilm & TV138MInstagram

#47Britney SpearsMusic137MTwitter

#48Shawn MendesMusic136MInstagram

#49Whindersson Nunes BatistaOther135MInstagram

#50Salman KhanFilm & TV134MFacebook

Unsurprisingly, celebrities reign supreme 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 fanbases, artists account for half of the top 50 largest social media followings.

Also notable is the power of Instagram, which was the biggest platform for 67% of the top 50 social media influencers. This includes hard-to-categorize celebrities like the Kardashians and Jenners, which turned reality TV and social media fame into business and media empires.

Download the Generational Power Report (.pdf)

The Generational Power Index

The Most Followers on Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube

However, it’s not only celebrities that dominate social media.

Personalities that started on one social media platform and developed massive followings 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 U.S. 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 U.S. President Donald Trump would have also made the list with more than 140 million followers across social media before being banned from multiple platforms on January 8, 2021.

A Generational Look at Social Media Influence

While older generations have had to adapt to social media platforms, younger generations have grown up alongside them. As a measure of cultural importance, this gives Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z a rare leg-up on older generations.

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

Generation# of Influencers in GenerationTop Influencer in Generation

Gen Z4Kylie Jenner

Millennial33Cristiano Ronaldo

Gen X10Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson

Baby Boomer3Ellen DeGeneres

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

In our Generational Power Index (GPI), which measures the share of power generations hold in various categories, digital platforms were a key area where Millennials derived their power and influence. Overall, Baby Boomers—and to a lesser extent, Gen X—still run the show in most areas of society today.

Social Media Influence, Going Forward

As most fans and advertisers know, not all social media accounts and followings are homogenous.

Many influencers with relatively small followings have more consistent engagement, and are often able to demand high advertising fees as a result.

Conversely, most social media platforms are reckoning with a severe glut of fake accounts or bots that inflate follower counts, impacting everything from celebrities and politicians to personalities and businesses.

Regardless, social media has become a mainstay platform (or soapbox) for today’s cultural influencers. Billions of people turn to social media for news, engagement, recommendations, and entertainment, and new platforms are always 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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