It might not be the first platform you consider when you think of social media influencers – but with 330 million active monthly users, Twitter is a unique place for individuals and brands to share their voice.
Here, we take a detailed look at who has the most Twitter followers – wrapping up with the most followed Twitter account in the world. Along the way, we’ll take a look at what makes the accounts on the list so popular – and what lessons an aspiring influencer can learn to boost their own Twitter following.
20. Shakira (52m followers)
Here in the UK, Colombian-born Shakira’s solo popularity peaked between the releases of Whenever Wherever in 2002 and Hips Don’t Lie in 2006 – but in South America, she’s been at the forefront of pop culture for over 25 years.
As well as being one of South America’s most popular singer-songwriters, Shakira is also known for her seemingly never-ending philanthropy; she’s received various accolades for her charity work, she’s a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and back in 1997 she set up a foundation that supports children’s education for vulnerable children.
Shakira’s Twitter focuses mainly on her charity work and other good causes around the world – but it obviously has a splash of her music and amazing life too.
19. Team Demi (56m followers)
What do you do when you’re the owner of one of the best twitter accounts in the world, but you fall out of love with the platform? You give it to your fans of course.
That’s exactly what singer, songwriter, and actress Demi Lovato did with her account after quitting Twitter last year. Chances are, the revived account is run by Demi’s team – but there’s plenty of fan content on there and still some exclusive material provided by Demi.
In truth, this account didn’t have enough followers to feature on this top twitter accounts list until Demi actually gave it up – but the PR that was stirred up created a renewed interest – actually making her social media presence even more popular than before.
18. Britney Spears (56m followers)
Between her amazing music career and her well-publicised mental health struggles, Britney’s remained a fan favourite for over 20 years – and 56 million of those devoted fans follow her life on Twitter.
Britney’s content is what you’d expect from a huge pop star – news on her music, tours, behind the scenes videos, interviews, and plenty of personal posts about causes that are close to her heart.
Britney’s never been one to shy away from answering the tough questions about her personal life on social media either – proof that a loyal fanbase will stick with you through thick and thin.
17. CNN Breaking News (58m followers)
One of the things that makes Twitter such a unique platform is the instant nature of its news reporting. Often, the people who are there as the news breaks tell us what’s happening – and CNN is never far behind.
With 58 million followers – CNN’s breaking news account is the most followed news outlet on the platform – and no.17 in our ‘who has the most followers on Twitter’ list.
The CNN account is exactly what you’d expect – all the breaking stories from around the world. It’s a good indication of how people use the platform too – Insta and Facebook can wait; when there’s something happening, Twitter is the place to learn about it.
16. Twitter (58m followers)
Twitter’s official account comes it at no.16 in our most followers on Twitter list – but if this list was about the strangest accounts that are popular on Twitter, it would be a clear winner!
With tweets like “what is time” and “wine.” it’s fair to say that the Twitter team are going for an off-beat approach.
Twitter’s tweets are clearly intended to inspire interesting conversation – which is exactly what the platform’s about. 68% of brands say they expect Twitter to be the primary source of customer service issues from consumers – so it’s a good channel to have if you want to engage in meaningful conversation with the people who follow you.
15. Narendra Modi (58m followers)
Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister of India – and while he’s not the politician with the most followers on Twitter, he’s certainly well aware of how powerful the platform is as a political tool.
Modi has been a Twitter user since 2009 – and it could be argued that his use of the platform was instrumental in his election in 2014.
Whether he’s congratulating Indian sportspeople or mapping out his vision for where Indian will go in the future, Modi is a frequent tweeter – posting at least 10 tweets a day during the last 12 months. If you’ve got lots to say and you want the world to hear – Twitter’s the place to do the talking.
14. Selena Gomez (61m followers)
Although she managed to hit no.6 on our most followed Instagram list, Selena Gomez only manages no.14 on our list of the most followed Twitter accounts.
Still, with 61 million followers, the singer, songwriter, and actor is hardly struggling – and she maximises the platform by using it to promote her music and acting projects.
Selena often posts some of her own thoughts and regularly talks about causes that are important to her. Recently, she’s handed her account over to authority campaigning figures to help get important messages over to her followers. From increasing the awareness of life-altering medical conditions to inspiring conversation around equality; Selena makes the most of the platform as a way of highlighting some of the world’s most pressing issues.
13. Justin Timberlake (65m followers)
As an enormously successful musician, you might expect Justin Timberlake’s Twitter to be packed full of promotional tweets – but in actual fact, it’s one of the best Twitter follows on this list if you want to get a feel for the real person behind the brand.
Timberlake shares plenty of insights into his own life – as well as regular tweets about things that are important to him and his wife, Jessica Biel.
There’s plenty of light and fun content mixed in with the important messages too – there’s always a camera phone recording on the tour bus, in the studio, or when Justin’s getting ready to walk down the red carpet.
12. Kim Kardashian West (65m followers)
No social media list would be complete without a Kardashian or a Jenner – and it’s Kim that steps up to represent the family on this Twitter most followers run down.
Kim Kardashian West needs no introduction – she’s one of the most famous faces on the planet, as well as being the original influencer that inspired so many people to follow in her footsteps.
Much like her Instagram account, Kardashian West’s Twitter is full of pictures of her, Kayne and the kids – as well as information about the causes and campaigns that she supports. Of course, there’s plenty of brand promotion too – with regular posts about her KKW Beauty range and the occasional sponsored post too.
11. YouTube (72m followers)
It might surprise you to find out that another social platform has more Twitter followers than Twitter itself – but sure enough, the official YouTube account manages exactly that.
With 72 million followers, the YouTube account just misses the top 10 on this largest Twitter account list – and its content is fairly familiar if you’re a regular on the YouTube site or app. There’s everything from the latest political content and worldwide campaigns – right through to good old-fashioned cat content and great-looking recipes.
To be successful, influencers generally need to focus on one or two niche areas and produce content around that – however, YouTube is proof that if you’ve got the follower numbers, you can be as diverse as you like.
10. Ariana Grande (74m followers)
Ariana Grande is a force to be reckoned with – and she owns social media in much the same way as she dominates the charts.
Unlike many of the largest Twitter accounts, Ariana’s account seems to be managed directly from her personal phone – her tweets aren’t especially polished, but they’re real and from the heart – which makes her even more loved by her fans around the world.
Of course, there’s plenty of promotion from Ariana on Twitter – but it’s often not content you’ll see anywhere else, giving fans a reason to follow across all platforms to make sure they don’t miss any exclusives.
9. Ellen DeGeneres (80m followers)
Having won 61 Day Time Emmy’s, The Ellen DeGeneres Show is a runaway success on NBC and stations around the world – but Ellen’s Twitter follower numbers far outweigh the 4.2 million weekly viewers she gets on daytime TV.
Ellen’s bio proudly states that her tweets are real – but in truth, there’s little that seems personally curated by Ellen – understandable though, it’s unlikely she’s got the time to create the wealth of interesting and informative clips the account turns out every day.
Ellen is known as a passionate campaigner for a massive range of issues – from supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, right through to national dog rescue charities – she’s one of the most-followed people on Twitter, and like many others on this list, she’s using her voice for some amazing causes.
8. Donald Trump (81m followers)
He may not be the most followed person on Twitter – but the 45th President of the USA is definitely one of the most controversial. Donald Trump likes to make his voice heard – and Twitter’s his favourite outlet for making that happen.
In fact, Twitter tends to be his first point of addressing the American people and other world leaders – whether he’s changing policies or attacking other countries’ foreign policy, Twitter tends to be where the news appears first.
Recently, Twitter has taken the unprecedented step of flagging particularly controversial tweets from Trump as requiring fact-checking – something that’s not gone down well with the President. Still, it’s fair to assume that many of Donald’s followers are there for the compelling drama that’s gone hand-in-hand with his presidency; so we can expect to see follower numbers continue to grow.
7. Lady Gaga (82m followers)
With 27 million albums and 146 million singles sales to her name, Lady Gaga is one of the best-selling musicians of all time; so it’s no surprise to find her on a ‘most followed on Twitter’ list.
The truth is, Lady Gaga’s success is down to more than just her vocal range and songwriting ability – she’s also an outstanding actor, passionate campaigner, and style icon – so it’s fair to assume that many of her 82 million followers are there for brand Gaga, even if they’re not buying her albums.
Most of Lady Gaga’s Twitter content is based on updates around her music and acting – although it’s usually the first place you’ll see updates about her ‘Born This Way’ Foundation – a charity that focuses on teen mental health; supporting youngsters across 20 high schools in the US.
6. Cristiano Ronaldo (85m followers)
Cristiano Ronaldo is the only sportsperson on this list – but it’s no surprise that he’s one of the most-followed people on Twitter since he owns the biggest Instagram account of any individual too.
Ronaldo’s content is similar to that found on his Instagram; promo work for Nike, lots of sponsored posts, and a huge number of CR7 products – from toiletries to jeans and underwear. In fact, it’s fair to say the brand is even bigger than Ronaldo’s persona.
Of course, it’s not all promotional tweets – there’s plenty of exclusive photos of Cristiano and his family, the mandatory topless shots showing off his abs, in-game videos, and plenty of shots from the Juventus training ground.
5. Taylor Swift (86m followers)
Breaking into the top 5 on this list of the world’s largest Twitter accounts is singer, songwriter, businesswoman, and actress Taylor Swift. Not only is she one of the biggest selling artists of the last 10 years – she’s also very good at giving her fans exactly what they want on social media.
Taylor’s got over 220 million followers across Instagram and Twitter – and they’re all treated to exclusive access to a world of content you just will not see anywhere else. In fact, like her Instagram, after spending a few minutes scrolling through her Twitter timeline, you come away feeling like you’re personal friends with Taylor and her cats.
Taylor Swift doesn’t spend as much time on Twitter as she does on other social platforms, but it’s often her go-to outlet when she wants to get behind a good cause or campaign that she feels passionate about.
4. Rihanna (97m followers)
By now, you’re probably not surprised to find another musician on our list of Twitter accounts with the most followers – but while she’s close to the top, Rihanna’s still not quite number 1.
Recognised as Forbes Magazine as one of the most influential women in 2019, it’s no surprise to see Rihanna using Twitter to talk about causes that mean a lot to her; not least the Black Lives Matter movement that’s dominated headlines in 2020.
Of course, Rihanna is a businesswoman as well as a campaigner – so you can expect to see a lot of brand promotion on her Twitter account too – with Fenty Beauty products featuring frequently – and her exclusive Savage X Fenty lingerie line too.
3. Katy Perry (109m followers)
Katy Perry’s one of only three Twitter users who’s broken through the 100 million followers barrier – but even with 109 million dedicated fans, it still only places her at number 3 on our ‘who has the most Twitter followers’ list.
As well as the expected single and album promotion you’d expect from any musician, Katy also gets behind products that she loves – from apple cider vinegar to pieces from her own Katy Perry Collection.
Generally, the content you see on Twitter is reposted from Perry’s hugely successful Instagram account – but don’t let that fool you into thinking she’s not worth a follow – with Twitter seemingly on Katy’s personal phone, you get the odd tweet now and again that you won’t see anywhere else!
2. Justin Bieber (112m followers)
He only manages no.12 on our Instagram followers list – but Justin Bieber smashes it out of the park with a no.2 on our list of celebrities with the highest Twitter follower numbers.
Social media is what launched Bieber’s career – so it’s little wonder that he gives so much back to fans on the platforms that propelled him to stardom. In fact, he follows more people than almost anyone else on this list – with almost 300,000 fans’ tweets appearing on his newsfeed when he opens his Twitter app.
Back in his early teens, Justin’s manager Scooter Braun decided that the team should let Bieber’s content naturally work its way into fan’s awareness, giving the impression of a real connection with the young singer. More than a decade on, and the feeling is the same when you look at Bieber’s Twitter account – he’s often talking directly to the camera, giving you a sense that you’re important to him.
It’s a winning formula – he might not be everyone’s taste in music, but there’s no denying Bieber does an excellent job connecting with his fans.
1. Barack Obama (119m followers)
So, if you’re wondering about how to get followers on Twitter, the answer’s simple – you just need to be a two-term President of the USA!
The most followed celebrity on Twitter isn’t a musician or a sportsperson – it’s Barack Obama, the Democrat president that occupied the White House before Donald Trump. Obama wasn’t as vocal on Twitter as Donald Trump is, but he did you use the platform to engage with audiences who preferred their news directly from the source, rather than through the often-biased news channels in the US.
Today, Obama uses the platform to voice his political opinions – and those opinions still carry enormous weight with voters who perhaps don’t agree with Donald Trump’s more brash approach to leadership. Obama tweets often – and he’s not afraid to tackle the biggest issues of our time – inequality, healthcare, managing the Covid-19 pandemic, gun controls, and much more.
There’s plenty of light, good fun content on Twitter – but from Presidents and Prime Ministers to pop stars and sportspeople, the platform is overwhelmingly used by those with the most followers to push forward the campaigns and causes they’re most passionate about.
Getting more Twitter followers
Okay, so most of us can never hope to get the same kind of follower numbers you see on this list, but accounts with the highest Twitter follower numbers can teach us a thing or two about what kind of content brings people to your account.
People take to Twitter to understand and talk about what’s happening right now – and there’s no better way to show people who you are than getting involved in the conversations.
Of course, it’s not a great idea to wade into topics you’re not familiar with, but if you’re serious about getting more Twitter followers, you should explore the platform to find topics and causes you feel connected to.
Engagement is the name of the game with Twitter – you can’t expect anyone to just absorb your content all the time without giving something back – so connect, talk, discuss, retweet, and like. It’s this engagement that makes influencer marketing so powerful – so whether you’re promoting on Twitter directly, or you’re using the platform to boost the popularity of your Instagram or YouTube accounts, it’s vital that you connect with your audience.
Growing your social media following with Influize
If you’re hoping to grow your social media presence, there’s a right way to do it – and a wrong way to do it.
We all know that you can add thousands of followers for next to nothing – but if you’re hoping to become a paid influencer, these fake followers will put brands off you for life.
Instead, if you want to add real engaged followers that are interested in what you’re doing on social media, you need to get in touch with the team here at Influize. We work with amazing prizes and the world’s most influential celebrities to build enormous audiences – and we’ve got upcoming campaigns that will suit you perfectly.
Even we might struggle to get you 119 million engaged followers – but with thousands of brands looking for social media influencers that have between 5,000 and 20,000 loyal fans, we’ll definitely grow your audience to a size that will let you ditch that 9-5 and start to grow your own social media enterprise.