Who has the most Instagram followers? Who’s the most followed person on Instagram? With competition for followers so hot – it’s no surprise that millions of people are asking questions like this every day.
So, who the king or queen of Insta? Is it a sportsperson, a singer, or a brand?
We’ll take a look at the world’s most popular Instagram accounts, the people behind them, and the kind of content they put out.
We’ll also try to understand what makes these accounts so successful – and take an in-depth look at the magic behind how people get so many followers on Instagram.
20. Katy Perry (95m followers)
Not quite breaking the 100m follower mark – singer, songwriter, and star of American Idol Katy Perry comes in at number 20 on our list of who has the most Instagram followers.
Katy is proof that you shouldn’t give up on your dream if you take a few stumbles before you find your way. Although most people assume her One of the Boys album was her first, she actually released an album in 2001 that was commercially unsuccessful – although this hasn’t stopped her becoming one of Forbes highest-earning woman in music since 2011.
After her I Kissed a Girl track rocketed her to fame in 2008, Katy’s social media success followed soon afterwards – and she’s always done Instagram amazingly. As well as highly produced professional shots of herself and her products, she’s not afraid to share an old photo or a self-shot unfiltered behind-the-scenes picture. While fans no doubt love the promo shots and interviews – it’s this kind of personal content that creates a real feeling of connection between Perry and her fans.
19. Miley Cyrus (108m followers)
Despite having only shared 635 posts, controversial singer, songwriter, and actor Miley Cyrus has racked up 108 million followers on Instagram – and the platform’s seen her transform from Disney Channel star Hannah Montana to become one of the most successful musicians in the world.
While there’s no doubt that Miley Cyrus has a lot of fans who are there for her music or TV background, her approach to social media is changing and maturing all the time. Recently Miley’s used Instagram to promote her Bright Minded interviews – a video series that sees her talking with a host of famous faces about everything from animal rights to mental well-being and gender equality.
Miley Cyrus isn’t afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve – and that kind of honest approach to social media is proof that fans don’t always want to see fake smiles and promo shots – but also appreciate a glimpse at the real person they’re following.
18. Khloé Kardashian (110m followers)
The first of 4 Kardashians and Jenners on this list – TV star and businesswoman Khloé has 110 million followers – and it’s fair to say that most of them are there to witness an amazing Kardashian lifestyle.
At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking Khloé Kardashian’s life is happening on a different planet; where everyone’s skin is flawless, and the air has a soft pink haze. In truth, this is exactly what makes her account so incredible – it’s a lifestyle that’s beyond the reach of most people, so Instagram gives us a chance to stare in amazement.
As one of the world’s most recognisable influencers, Khloé isn’t afraid of interesting collaborations to put unlikely brands in front of her fans. As well as couture fashion houses and her own luxury brands, she’s also keen to promote weight loss supplements and even cleaning products.
17. Nike (110m followers)
The Nike Swoosh is one of the most recognisable logos in the world – and the brand’s 110m global followers prove that the company has international appeal.
If you expect to see Nike’s most high-profile sportspeople when you head over to their Instagram page, you might be in for a surprise. Before you get to Cristiano Ronaldo or Harry Kane, you’re more likely to come across an over-60s Mexican women’s basketball team or disabled sportspeople who are building awareness of their sport or condition.
This alternative approach to marketing is a real hit for Nike – proving that there’s an ethical side to a brand that’s sometimes been dogged with controversy relating to their manufacturing processes. Whatever your sport – Nike is definitely one of the best Instagram accounts to follow.
16. Nicki Minaj (114m followers)
Cited by Forbes magazine as the most successful female rap artist of all time – it’s no surprise to find Nicki Minaj on a list of who has the most Instagram followers.
Unlike most others on this list – Nicki Minaj is keen to engage with her fans – occasionally posting pictures asking for comments before liking and replying herself. It’s an unusual approach for a celebrity – but one that hundreds of thousands of her fans engage with.
Nicki’s not afraid to get in front of the camera herself either – talking directly to her fans – and even though she’s a fan of a filter, her videos are often self-shot, again giving fans that feeling that they’re connecting with a real person, and not just following a distant superstar.
15. Jennifer Lopez (120m followers)
Despite having a physique that someone half her age would likely kill for, at 50, Jennifer Lopez is the oldest celebrity on this list of Instagram accounts with the most followers.
J-Lo is proof that age is only a number when it comes to success on social media – with plenty of her 120 million followers apparently much younger than she is. Part of what keeps Jennifer Lopez relevant is her eagerness to team up with every generation of celebrities and influencers; you don’t have to scroll far backwards to find her hanging out with Billie Eilish or Oprah.
Again, J-Lo mixes up professional promo shots and big-production video with more candid self-shot videos – keeping her connected to her fans around the world.
14. Kendall Jenner (128m followers)
Model Kendall Jenner is another of the 4 entries on this list that shot to international fame when Keeping Up with the Kardashians aired back in 2007. Although she wasn’t even a teenager back then, she’s followed in the footsteps of her siblings to become one of the world’s most recognised celebrity influencers.
Kendall’s content is similar to her sisters’ – plenty of professional modelling shots and front covers, along with a handful of self-shot snaps, holiday videos, and the occasional baby pic from back in the ‘90s.
As with some other top-tier influencers, Kendall rarely promotes third-party products and has instead decided that it’s more lucrative to use her fame to promote her own brands and causes.
13. Taylor Swift (132m followers)
Superstar singer-songwriter, producer, actress, and general businesswoman Taylor Swift features at number 13 on our list – and has around 50 million record sales to thank for helping to amass 132 million followers on Instagram.
Taylor’s Instagram is a dream come true for fans. As well as the professional modelling shots and magazine covers, there are plenty of selfies, photos of her cat Meredith, amateur snaps of Taylor with other celebrities, and old family photos – all of which give you the impression that you come away from Instagram knowing her a little better than you did before.
Of course, few of us will get the chance to sit down and chat with Taylor before she knocks out a quick song on her acoustic guitar for us – but Insta gets her fans close to that – and this down-to-Earth persona is a big part of the reason she’s loved by so many people around the world.
12. Justin Bieber (135m followers)
Social media was where it all began for Justin Bieber. Back in 2007, talent manager Scooter Braun found 13-year old Bieber covering songs on YouTube. Braun instantly recognised why this intimate connection with fans worked so well – and decided to produce more of the same.
As a result, Justin had a solid social media following before his first album dropped in 2009 – and he continues to keep it personal with his fans over a decade later.
Over half of what you see on Bieber’s Insta feed is self-shot or fan-made. From messages to fans and cute couple-selfies, to videos of fans dancing to Bieb’s tracks – there aren’t many A-list celebrities that use social media to connect quite as much as Justin does.
11. National Geographic (136m followers)
There probably aren’t many people who’d ever have imagined the official magazine of the National Geographic Society could be tangling with musicians and footballers in the middle of a list of the top 20 most-followed Instagram accounts – but that’s exactly what @NatGeo has managed.
In truth, National Geographic probably curates some of the best photographic content the world has ever seen – and it’s this talent for breathtaking images and amazing stories that’s seen the account go from strength-to-strength.
It’s worth noting that the account doesn’t actually produce much content of their own – but instead offers the incredible platform to photographers and storytellers from around the globe. Aside from subscriptions - the content isn’t monetised either; instead, the magazine aims to bring some of the most significant issues from around the world into the social media feeds of 136 million people.
10. Neymar Jr. (138m followers)
As with the other footballers on this list, Neymar Jr. is considered to be one of the best in the world – but it could be argued that he’s worth just as much off the pitch as he is on it.
In recent years, Neymar’s been named as one of the ‘most marketable athletes in the world’ by sports media outlets – and Time magazine has also recently included him on their annual list of the 100 most influential people on the planet.
While Neymar’s Instagram is dominated with football – there’s plenty of family shots on there too – and even a few videos of the Paris Saint-Germain forward playing Call of Duty with friends and team-mates. Like all good influencers – there are some product shots in there too; diamond-encrusted watches, his own personal Beats By Dre headphones, and even a few cans of energy drinks – presumably for those late-night gaming sessions.
9. Beyoncé (146m followers)
If you’re wondering how to get more followers on Instagram, it doesn’t hurt to be one of the most famous people in the world with 100 million album sales under your belt.
In truth, outright fame is the driving force behind Beyoncé’s success on Instagram. Unlike many other celebrities, she doesn’t ever shoot a quick selfie or take a snap of the kids playing the beach – her entire feed is packed full of high-production professional photos and videos – and her 146 million fans love it.
Beyoncé’s social media presence doesn’t give you the impression that she loves sharing intimate family moments online – but it does give you a glimpse into the life of one of the world’s most powerful celebrity couples, complete with private jets, yachts, and sell-out world tours.
8. Leo Messi (150m followers)
There a few people who might argue otherwise – but in terms of raw footballing talent, Lionel Messi is generally considered to be one of the best footballers to have ever lived.
Since age 13, Messi has been a Barcelona player – and since turning 17 and making his professional debut, he has scored over 700 goals for his club and country – and helped to secure 34 trophies for FC Barcelona. He’s the kind of talent that future footballing generations will look back on with amazement – and thanks to Instagram, our social media generation can take a look at his incredible daily life.
Lionel’s Insta feed features a lot of professional promotional material that relates to his sport – but there’s plenty of behind-the-scenes family content on there too. Whether he’s filming his enormous dog chasing his wife on a scooter – or sharing pictures of his kids in miniature football kits, his feed gives unprecedented access to one of the most talented sportspeople the world’s ever seen.
7. Kim Kardashian West (169m followers)
Kim Kardashian West needs little introduction. Despite being only number 7 on this list of best celebrity Instagram accounts, it could be argued that she’s blazed an influencer trail that her younger siblings and others have merely followed.
Kim’s content isn’t dissimilar to the rest of the Jenner and Kardashian clan; lots of high-production modelling shots – although with 4 children, there’s plenty of space made for cute photos and videos of the kids too.
With ambitions to carry on her late father's career in law, it’s no surprise to see KKW using her influence to lobby the US government about causes close to her heart too. In 2019, Kardashian West was an instrumental part of a group that helped to persuade Donald Trump to begin prison reforms – which were then approved by the US Senate. If you’re interested in influential celebrities to follow on Instagram – Kim Kardashian West is the original and best.
6. Kylie Jenner (175m followers)
If there’s an award for the person who’s made Instagram work for them more than anyone else on the planet, Kylie Jenner would be a clear winner. Social media has been instrumental in Kylie’s ascent to becoming the world’s youngest self-made billionaire – and she knows it.
Kylie Jenner has been quoted as acknowledging what an amazing platform Instagram provides – as it’s given her unprecedented access to all of her fans and customers. She might not have been the first person to realise this – but she’s turned Instagram self-promotion into an art-form.
While some billion-dollar businesses will employ thousands of people – a team of just 13 helped to create the make-up brand that Jenner recently sold a 51% stake in for $600 million – proof that Instagram has the potential to change people’s lives in a very short period of time.
5. Selena Gomez (176m followers)
Selena Gomez has come on an incredible journey since hung out with Barney and Friends on children’s’ TV back in 2002. In the following 18 years, she’s sold 7 million albums, starred in a string of blockbuster movies, and featured on collaborations with some of the biggest names in music.
Instagram has given fans an exclusive inside view of Selena’s journey – and, like others on this list, she’s done an outstanding job of giving her fans exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpses into her life. From cute pictures of Gomez as a toddler – to self-shot pictures from anti-gun rallies she’s attended, Insta helps to understand the person behind the Selena Gomez brand.
Of course, there are plenty of big-money collaborations going on for Selena too – exclusive marketing campaigns with big names like Coach and Victoria’s Secret play out on Instagram – and it’s suggested the singer makes over $1 million for a single sponsored post on the platform.
4. Dwayne Johnson (182m followers)
Dwayne Johnson – aka The Rock – is likely to be one of the most recognisable faces in the world. Not only is his content considered to be one of the best Instagram accounts for men and women hoping to emulate his workouts – it’s equally popular with young fans who’ve seen him on the big screen in the Jumanji movies and Disney’s Moana.
While other celebrities on this list intersperse professional content with the occasional self-shot video – Johnson couldn’t be more different. Overwhelmingly, Dwayne Johnson is talking directly to his fans, dishing out workout tips, offering motivational tips – or snapping selfies with other celebrities.
Despite his tough-guy image in the ring and in action movies, Dwayne Johnson is considered to be one of the nicest guys in Hollywood – and his social media output influences feeling that enormously. Friendly, personable content is the name of the game – and it’s a lucrative game; especially as The Rock’s popularity has helped him promote numerous products, including his own tequila brand, ice cream (strictly for cheat meals), and his own special edition Under Armour workout trainers.
3. Ariana Grande (185m followers)
It seems there’s little Ariana Grande can’t do. She’d already conquered Broadway, children’s TV, and the US billboard charts as a teenager – and now she’s the second most followed individual on Instagram worldwide.
Ariana’s Insta feed is doesn’t have the same pastel tones that some of her fellow celebrity influencers go for – instead, her photos and videos are almost always monotone – even when she shares a rare candid self-shot picture of her dog or a celebrity friend.
Aside from her music, Grande’s Instagram is largely free from any promotional material. She’ll occasionally discuss a cause that’s close to her heart – but with an estimated net worth of over $100 million – she can afford to be very selective about the brands she works with.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (218m followers)
Cristiano Ronaldo’s account might not be the biggest on the platform, but if you want to know who the most followed person on Instagram is – Cristiano is king.
A staggering 218 million people follow Ronaldo – and when you consider how many Instagram accounts there are – that means around 20% of users follow the Portuguese footballing superstar.
Again, like Kylie Jenner – Ronaldo and his team have maximised the benefits of having a huge audience who love his brand – and he’s launched a variety of products with this enormous social audience in mind. Whether you’re looking for underwear, jeans, or weight loss products – you can find them all with the CR7 name on them.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s is unquestionably one of the best celebrity Instagram accounts when it comes to leveraging his power as an influencer – and while most of us are likely to be a long way from his ability with a football, he’s more proof that social media is fast-becoming the best marketing platform on the planet.
1. Instagram (348m followers)
So, it turns out the Instagram with the most followers is…. Instagram!
Although it would be easy to put this down to the fact that it’s the account attached to the platform itself – the official IG account is a masterclass in creating trends across the service – with millions of users regularly getting involved with projects and challenges the team set out.
From messages of appreciation for keyworkers around the world – to quirky pets, incredible physical feats, and jaw-dropping artwork – across nearly 6,500 posts, the Instagram account has seen them all. It’s also the place that the company gets behind international causes – and daily IGTV broadcasts feature everything from messages of equality and peace to animal rights campaigns and mental health advocacy.
Considering how many accounts there are on Instagram, the platform’s official follower count of nearly 350 million people means that over a third of all users see their content on a daily basis. They might not have the glamour of a Jenner or the free-kick taking skills of Ronaldo – but the IG account can create online communities, inspire fun, and increase awareness of important causes in every corner of the globe.
How do I get more Instagram followers?
For most of us, matching these kinds of follower numbers is going to be impossible – but if you’re wondering how you get a lot of followers on Instagram; it’s not as difficult as you might think.
Firstly, it’s important to realise that you don’t need millions of fans to become a paid influencer on Instagram – in fact, many brands prefer working with micro influencers.
As well as being far more cost-effective when compared to the kind of top-tier influencers you see on this list, micro influencers are often deemed to be more trustworthy than an obviously paid celebrity endorsement. As a result, micro influencer recommendations come across as being authentic and genuine – and it’s this kind of word-of-mouth style advertising that brands love.
So, how many followers do you need?
Well, to start earning the kind of money that could make Instagram a full-time role, you’d need to have a dedicated and engaged audience of 10,000 or more people – and of course, the bigger this engaged audience is, the more you can expect to earn.
How can Influize help?
Not all followers are good followers. We all know you can add a few thousand fake fans for the price of a takeaway – but brands see through this – and you could permanently ruin your chance of becoming a paid brand collaborator if you go down this route.
If you want to add real, engaged followers who are interested in you and the content you produce, you need to get in touch with us here at Influize. We always have a series of incredible celebrity giveaway campaigns running – and we can find one that you can be involved with - suiting you and your audience perfectly.
The result might not be 150 million followers – but we guarantee we’ll add at least 20,000 – and that’s more than enough to attract the attention of thousands of exciting brands from around the world.