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Who Has the Most Followers on Instagram: A Closer Look at Instagram’s Top Influencers

Instagram is one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, with over 1.4 billion monthly active users and 500 million daily active users. It is also a powerful marketing tool, allowing brands and individuals to showcase their products, services, lifestyles, and personalities to a global audience.

But who are the most followed accounts on Instagram? And what makes them so influential and successful? This article will explore the evolution of Instagram’s top-followed accounts, the power of Instagram influencers, the race for the most followers, and the psychology behind followers and fame. We will also share tips and strategies to increase your Instagram followers and grow your online presence.

I. The Evolution of Instagram’s Top-Followed Accounts

Instagram was launched in October 2010 as a photo-sharing app that allowed users to apply filters and effects to their pictures. The app quickly gained popularity and attracted celebrities, athletes, musicians, and other public figures who wanted to share their personal and professional lives with their fans.

In the early days of Instagram, the most followed accounts were mostly celebrities with a large fan base from other media outlets. For example, in 2012, the top three most followed accounts were Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, and Selena Gomez. In 2013, they were Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian. In 2014, they were Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, and Beyoncé.

However, as Instagram evolved and introduced new features such as videos, stories, reels, IGTV, and live streaming, the platform also became a place for content creators, influencers, bloggers, vloggers, comedians, artists, and entrepreneurs who could showcase their original and engaging content to a niche audience. These accounts started to gain more followers and recognition as they offered value, entertainment, inspiration, education, or connection to their followers.

For example, in 2015, the top three most followed accounts were Taylor Swift, Kim Kardashian, and Beyoncé. In 2016, they were Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift, and Ariana Grande. In 2017, they were Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, and Cristiano Ronaldo. 2018 they were Cristiano Ronaldo, Selena Gomez, and Ariana Grande.

II. The Power of Instagram Influencers

In today’s digital era, social media has transformed how we interact, consume content, and make purchasing decisions. Among the various social media platforms, Instagram has emerged as a powerhouse, commanding a vast user base of over a billion active users. Instagram influencers are at the forefront of this platform’s influence, individuals who have amassed a significant following and wield the power to shape opinions, trends, and consumer behavior.

The concept of influencer marketing has revolutionized the way brands approach their target audience. Traditional advertising methods are no longer as effective as once, as consumers have become more discerning and adept at filtering out intrusive advertisements. Herein lies the power of Instagram influencers – they offer a more authentic and relatable way for brands to connect with their audiences.

One of the key advantages of using Instagram influencers is the ability to tap into niche markets. Influencers often have a specific area of expertise or interest, and their followers share that passion. This enables brands to target their marketing efforts with a precision that traditional advertising struggles to achieve. Whether it’s beauty, fitness, fashion, or travel, there’s an influencer for nearly every niche, allowing brands to reach the right audience with the right message.

Moreover, influencers come across as genuine and trustworthy to their followers. They build a rapport and establish a sense of authenticity that traditional advertising cannot replicate. When an influencer promotes a product or service, it feels like a recommendation from a friend rather than a sales pitch. This level of trust is invaluable in an age where consumers are wary of being sold to constantly.

Another compelling aspect of influencer marketing is its ability to drive engagement. Instagram influencers are experts at creating compelling content that captivates their audience, resulting in high likes, comments, and shares. This engagement is a goldmine for brands, as it boosts visibility and brand awareness while also creating a ripple effect as followers share the content with their networks.

Furthermore, influencer marketing is cost-effective and offers an excellent return on investment for brands. Partnering with Instagram influencers is often more budget-friendly than traditional celebrity endorsements or large-scale advertising campaigns. Brands can collaborate with influencers at various levels of popularity, making it accessible to businesses of all sizes.

Influencers also play a pivotal role in introducing new products and services. Their ability to create buzz and generate interest around a launch can significantly impact its success. Brands can leverage influencers for short-term campaigns and long-term brand ambassadorships, fostering a lasting relationship that ensures ongoing promotion and visibility.

However, as influencer marketing has grown in popularity, so needs transparency and authenticity. Brands and influencers must maintain ethical practices and disclose any sponsored content to preserve the trust of their audiences.

III. The Race for the Most Followers

The race for the most followers intensified as Instagram became more popular and competitive. Having more followers meant having more influence, opportunities, revenue, and fame. Many accounts started to use various strategies to increase their follower count, such as:

Collaborating with other accounts: Many accounts partnered in their niche or industry to cross-promote each other’s content or products. For example, Ellen DeGeneres collaborated with Michelle Obama to promote her book “Becoming” on her show and Instagram.

Using hashtags: Many accounts used hashtags to increase their visibility and reach on the platform. Hashtags are keywords or phrases that describe the content or topic of a post. Users can search for relevant content or follow hashtags to see posts from different social media accounts. For example, National Geographic used hashtags such as #natgeoinspires #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel to categorize posts and attract users interested in nature photography or travel.

Hosting giveaways: Many accounts hosted giveaways to reward their existing followers or attract new ones. Giveaways are contests where users have to follow certain rules, such as following the account hosting the giveaway, liking or commenting on a post, tagging their friends, or sharing the post on their stories. The winners are then randomly selected and receive a prize such as a product, a service, a gift card, or a shoutout. For example, Kylie Jenner hosted a giveaway where she gave one lucky winner a $36,000 worth of products 

from her cosmetics line.

Buying followers: Some accounts resorted to buying followers from third-party services or apps that offer fake or inactive accounts to boost their follower count. However, this practice is not recommended as it violates Instagram’s terms of service and can result in account suspension or deletion. Moreover, buying followers does not guarantee engagement or loyalty, as these accounts are not interested in the content or products of the account they follow.

IV. Instagram’s Most Followed Personalities

As of July 2023, the top 10 most followed personalities on Instagram are:

Cristiano Ronaldo – 400 million followers: The Portuguese soccer player posts photos and videos of his family, his career, his lifestyle, and his philanthropic activities. He also promotes brands such as CR7 underwear, footwear, and fragrance.

Dwayne Johnson – 300 million followers: The American actor and former wrestler posts photos and videos of his movies, his workouts, his family, and his motivational messages. He also promotes his brands, such as Teremana tequila, Project Rock apparel, and ZOA energy drink.

Ariana Grande – 280 million followers: The American singer and actress posts photos and videos of her music, her tours, her friends, and her dogs. She also promotes her brands, such as R.E.M. perfume, Thank U Next fragrance, and Positions album.

Kylie Jenner – 270 million followers: The American reality star and entrepreneur posts photos and videos of her cosmetics line, her fashion choices, her family, and her daughter Stormi. She also promotes brands such as Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Skin, and Kylie Baby.

Lionel Messi – 260 million followers: The Argentine soccer player posts photos and videos of his career, his family, his awards, and his humanitarian work. He also promotes brands such as the Messi Store clothing line and Messi Gin.

Selena Gomez – 250 million followers: The American singer and actress post photos and videos of her music, her movies, her friends, and her mental health advocacy. She also promotes brands such as the Rare Beauty cosmetics line, Selena + Chef cooking show, and Revelación EP.

Beyoncé – 240 million followers: The American singer and entrepreneur posts photos and videos of her music, her tours, her family, and her social causes. She also promotes her brands, such as the Ivy Park clothing line, the Black Is King visual album, and the BeyGOOD foundation.

Kim Kardashian – 230 million followers: The American reality star and entrepreneur posts photos and videos of her fashion line, her beauty line, her family, and her legal studies. She also promotes SKIMS shapewear, KKW Beauty cosmetics line, and KKW Fragrance.

Justin Bieber – 220 million followers: The Canadian singer and songwriter posts photos and videos of his music, his tours, his wife Hailey, and his faith. He also promotes brands such as the Drew House clothing line, Peaches song, and Justice album.

Taylor Swift – 210 million followers: The American singer and songwriter post photos and videos of her music, her cats, her fans, and her surprises. She also promotes her brands, such as Folklore album, Evermore album, and Fearless (Taylor’s Version) album.

V. Instagram’s Most Followed Brands

Instagram is a platform for individuals to share their photos and videos and a powerful marketing tool for businesses. Some brands have mastered creating engaging content and attracting millions of followers on Instagram. Here are some of the most followed brands on the platform as of July 2023:

National Geographic (@natgeo) – 200 million followers: National Geographic posts stunning visuals and captivating stories about nature, wildlife, and human exploration. They also engage their audience with user-generated content and exclusive offers.

Nike (@nike) – 180 million followers: Nike showcases its athletic products through inspirational posts, athlete endorsements, and behind-the-scenes glimpses. They also engage their followers with interactive content and campaigns.

Chanel (@chanelofficial) – 70 million followers: Chanel offers a glimpse into the world of luxury fashion through their posts, featuring high-end products, fashion shows, and iconic designs.

Starbucks (@starbucks) – 60 million followers: Starbucks shares images of its coffee beverages, store experiences, and community initiatives, engaging its audience with creative and relatable content.

Netflix (@netflix) – 50 million followers: Netflix promotes its shows and movies through teaser trailers, behind-the-scenes content, and fan interactions. They also collaborate with influencers and meme accounts to engage their audience.

VI. Tips and Strategies to Increase Instagram Followers

To grow your brand’s presence on Instagram, you must have a clear goal, a consistent style, and a smart strategy. Here are some tips and strategies to get Instagram followers:

Optimize your profile: Ensure your username, bio, profile picture, and website link are relevant, catchy, and informative.

Use hashtags: Hashtags help your posts reach more interested people in your niche. Use a mix of popular, niche, and branded hashtags to maximize your exposure.

Post regularly: Posting frequently and consistently helps you maintain engagement and visibility. Find the best time and frequency for your audience and stick to it.

Engage with your followers: Respond to comments, like and comment on other posts, follow relevant accounts, and join conversations. This shows that you care about your community and builds trust and loyalty.

Create quality content: Content is king on Instagram. Make sure your posts are high-quality, relevant, attractive, and valuable. Use different formats like photos, videos, stories, reels, and live streams to showcase your brand’s personality and message.

Collaborate with others: Working with other influencers, brands, or users can help you reach new audiences and boost your credibility. You can do shoutouts, giveaways, takeovers, or co-create content with others in your niche.

Use analytics: Analytics can help you understand your performance, audience, and trends. You can use Instagram’s native insights or third-party tools to track your metrics, such as reach, impressions, engagement, followers, and conversions.

Run ads: Ads can help you amplify your reach and target specific audiences based on their demographics, interests, behaviors, and locations. You can use different types of ads, such as photos, video, carousels, stories, or explore ads, to promote your brand.

Buy followers: One more useful method to get Instagram followers instantly is buying followers from a legitimate site. These followers will help you to grow your business just as effectively as any other way.

VII. Verdict

Instagram is a powerful platform for brands to showcase their products or services, connect with their customers, and grow their business. Following the tips and strategies mentioned above can increase your Instagram followers and achieve your marketing goals. If you want to learn more about how to get Instagram followers fast and easily, check out our website [link] for more information.

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