It is commonly said that a picture is worth 1,000 words. Instagram is a highly visual social media channel, and therefore is in many ways the perfect medium for brands to tell their tale. All they need to do is to ensure that people actually see their Instagram images.
A few well-known brands have built up sizeable Instagram followings themselves - National Geographic with 169 million followers and Nike with 159 million followers have done an amazing job with their own accounts. However, this is well beyond the capabilities of most brands. The average company can reach a much higher audience by working with one or more influencers.
Finding influencers on social media can seem daunting to brands. That is the reason that influencer platforms were first set up - to simplify the influencer search process for brands.
It is not a simple process determining who top Instagram influencers are, and it would be impossible to categorically state who were THE top 25 Instagram Influencers. Influence very much relates to the niche that a person operates in. You certainly can’t go by followers alone - the Instagram accounts with the most followers tend to belong to celebrities, and any influence they have is because of their celebrity status, rather than their Instagram prowess. There are many non-mainstream niches which have people operating Instagram accounts who are recognized as experts in their field but have smaller follower numbers, simply because of the limited support for that genre.
Of course, relying on follower numbers is not a good indication of influence, even within a particular niche. In reality, to be an influencer you need to be engaged with your audience, not simply a broadcaster.
Top 10 Instagrammers by Follower Count (2014 - 2019)
You will notice from the above Top Authentic Influencers Ranking tool that most of the names at the top are celebrities – people who have made their name through sport, modeling, music, or film. For this list, however, we have tried to find Influencers crushing it on Instagram, i.e., people who have made their name through social media and who run their own Instagram accounts. So we have eliminated all the offline superstars. We have included people who have made their name on another social network or video platform, however. Many of the most popular Instagram influencers here are as well know, often even more famous, for their YouTube or TikTok videos, or Twitch streams, as they are for their Instagram posts. Nowadays, social media influencers tend to move across multiple social platforms.
Another noticeable trend is now rapidly the movers and shakers of Instagram have changed in just a few years. As a result, this list has seen significant changes since we first prepared our Top 25 Influencers Crushing it on Instagram. Indeed, only three of the original list remain. This is because most of our original Instagram superstars have now been overtaken in popularity by a younger, more Cosmopolitan generation of Instagram influencers.
1. Addison Rae - @addisonraee
Addison Rae is an American social media personality and dancer. She first became well-known on social media for posting dance videos on TikTok, which is still her largest platform. However, she has now also amassed a large following on Instagram and gained considerable popularity there. Her Instagram posts are more beauty-focused, with less emphasis on dance.
Rae's rapid success led to her signing with talent agency WME in January 2020.
2. Khaby Lame - @khaby00
Genre: Computers & Gadgets
Senegalese-born Khaby Lame also began his social fame on TikTok. On both that platform and Instagram, he makes short comedy skits where he sarcastically points out people who complicate simple tasks for no reason. He has the record for being the most followed Italian on both TikTok and Instagram.
3. PewDiePie - @pewdiepie
Genre: Computers & Gadgets
Although best known for his YouTube channel, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg (aka PewDiePie) has also built a strong Instagram following, with more than 20 million followers.
His popularity on YouTube and extensive media coverage about his more controversial videos have made him one of the most noted online personalities and content creators. While he offends many people, he has a fiercely loyal group of supporters. Time magazine named him one of the world's 100 most influential people in 2016.
4. James Charles - @jamescharles
James Charles is an American beauty influencer and makeup artist. In 2016, he became the first male brand ambassador for CoverGirl. He has released an eyeshadow palette and created a makeup line in collaboration with Morphe Cosmetics and has received numerous awards for his work on social media.
5. Luis Arturo Villar Sudek (Luisito El Pillo) - @luisitocomunica
Genres: Humor & Fun & Happiness, Clothing & Outfits
Luis Arturo Villar Sudek is a Mexican YouTuber, businessman, blogger, and internet personality. He named his highly popular channel Luisito Comunica, and that is also the Instagram tag he uses.
He makes videos and takes photos of his trips around the world. However, his Instagram channel focuses more on the people he meets in his travels and the fun activities they do.
6. Raul Alvarez Genes (AuronPlay) – @auronplay
Genres: Lifestyle, Computers & Gadgets
Raúl Álvarez Genes is better known by his online alias AuronPlay. He is a Spanish YouTuber and Twitch streamer. He has expanded his social reach with a highly popular Instagram account.
Álvarez now works full-time making videos, streaming, and running his social accounts. Before that, he was a printing shop worker.
In 2020, Forbes Spain listed Álvarez as one of the top 100 influencers in Spain for the year.
7. Kimberley Loaiza - @kimberly.loaiza
Genres: Clothing & Outfits, Lifestyle
Kimberly Loaiza is a Mexican YouTuber, influencer, and singer. She got her start as a vlogger in 2016 who focused on challenges and tutorials. One of the videos she shared, the "Roast Yourself Challenge," amassed over 124 million views, leading to people noticing her musical abilities. As a result, she shifted her career to music.
Her fanbase covers a wide range of social networks. She is successful on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
Her Instagram account focuses more on images of the clothes she wears.
8. Logan Paul - @loganpaul
Genre: Fitness & Gym
Logan Paul is an American YouTuber and internet personality. He began his online success in 2013, posting sketches on the video-sharing application Vine. However, it was with his YouTube channel, TheOfficialLoganPaul, that he made his name.
He has expanded into acting work, gaining guest appearances on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Bizaardvark, as well as roles in some films. In addition, he has branched out into a boxing career since 2018, making his professional boxing debut in a match against YouTuber KSI.
His Instagram account focuses most on his boxing.
9. Emma Chamberlain – @emmachamberlain
Genres: Lifestyle, Shows
Emma Chamberlain is an American Internet personality. She won the 2018 Streamy Award for Breakout Creator. In 2019, Time Magazine included her in their TIME 100 Next list, as well as in their 25 Most Influential People On The Internet list.
10. Zach King - @zachking
Genres: Shows, Humor & Fun & Happiness
Zach King is an American internet personality, filmmaker, and illusionist based in Los Angeles. He is best known for his "magic vines," six-second videos digitally edited to look as if he is doing magic.
While his main channel is YouTube, it is also extremely popular on Instagram and TikTok. Previously, he was successful on Vine, too.
11. Carlinhos Maia - @carlinhosmaiaof
With more than 22 million followers on Instagram, comedian Carlinhos Maia is one of the leading influencers in Brazil. He started his career producing humorous videos on the internet and also performs in theatres across Brazil.
In 2020, the city of Penedo, Alagoas, installed a statue in honor of Carlinhos Maia. However, this was controversial, and locals removed the statue. He also gained notoriety for holding a party for reaching 20 million followers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
12. Bretman Rock - @bretmanrock
Genres: Art/Artists, Beauty
Bretman Rock Sacayanan is a Filipino beauty influencer and social media personality based in Honolulu, Hawaii. He started as a comedian and meme creator on YouTube and Vine before shifting to vlogs and beauty tutorials.
13. Ajey Nagar – @carryminati
Genres: Computers & Gadgets, Machinery & Technologies
Ajey Nagar is popularly known as CarryMinati. He's an Indian YouTuber and streamer from Faridabad, India, who also runs a popular Instagram account.
Some of the Instagram posts he shares are behind the scenes looks at the creation of his YouTube videos and streams.
14. Bella Poarch – @bellapoarch
Bella Poarch is an American-Filipino social media sensation who rose to fame on TikTok. Following her TikTok success, she launched a YouTube channel, Instagram page, and Twitter page. Additionally, she sells merchandise through her self-named website.
On May 14, 2021, Poarch released her debut single "Build a Bitch".
15. Dominik Elizabeth Reséndez Robledo (Domelipa) - @domelipa
Dominik Elizabeth Reséndez Robledo is better known as Domelipa on social media. She's a Mexican social media star who first made her name releasing lip-sync and choreographed videos on TikTok. She has since expanded her social network popularity to include Instagram and YouTube.
On Instagram, she predominantly shares modeling photos.
16. Loren Gray - @loren
Genres: Fashion, Modeling
Loren Gray is another TikTok star who has widened her social popularity to include Instagram. She is an American model, singer, and social media personality from Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
In March 2018, Gray signed a record deal with Virgin Records before releasing her debut single "My Story" in August that year and has continued to release singles since then.
17. Jake Paul - @jakepaul
Genre: Internet Personality
Jake Paul gained his fame on Vine before moving off the internet to star in the Disney sitcom, Bizaardvark. He has also built up a strong presence on YouTube.
His specialty is making comedy videos. Although he does have some videos on Instagram, most of his images appear to be shots of him going about his everyday life, including posing with a few fans.
In 2017, Jake Paul launched Team 10, an entertainment collaborative set up to create an influencer marketing management and creative agency based around teen entertainment. He released several singles with members of Team 10, although he disbanded Team 10 in 2019.
18. Daquan – @daquan
Genre: Humor & Fun & Happiness
Daquan is different from the other Instagram profiles here in that it isn't an account of a specific person. Instead, it is a meme account that claims to post the funniest content from across the web. And with 16.5 million followers, people clearly agree with that boast.
Warner Music Group paid $85 million for the account in mid-2020.
Although the identity of the man behind the memes remains shrouded in mystery, the editorial side is run by a 23-year-old Calgary native, backed by IMGM Media and Comedy.com co-founders Barak Shragai and Dor Mizrahi. And, no, the person in the profile image isn't the real Daquan.
19. Lucas Rangel – @lucasranngel
Lucas Rangel is a model, actor, economist, and co-founder/CEO of Brazilian influencer talent agency LR Contents Group. He has enormous followings on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube and sizable support on Facebook and Twitter. Confusingly, there is also a Brazilian footballer of the same name.
20. Chiara Ferragni - @chiaraferragni (original #6, but minor changes)
Genre: Beauty, fashion
Chiara Ferragni is an Italian-born blogger and fashion designer who lives between Milan and Los Angeles. She has worked for Guess as a model and spokesperson. She runs a fashion blog named The Blonde Salad, and her Instagram postings are an offshoot of that.
She has collaborated with several leading fashion designers, including Steve Madden, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Max Mara, Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger, J Brand, and Seven for All Mankind.
Chiara was the first blogger to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine, featuring on the cover of the Spanish edition of the magazine in April 2015.
21. Camilla de Lucas - @camilladelucas
Camilla de Lucas is a Brazilian influencer. She was born and raised in Nova Iguaçu, municipality of Baixada Fluminense. She dreamed of being a model in her teens but gave up trying for a career because of prejudice. However, today she is a powerful voice on the internet and is on the cover of the digital magazine ELLE View.
22. Mathilde Tantot - @mathildtantot
Genres: Lifestyle, Modeling
Mathilde Tantot is a French business owner and social media influencer. She is the owner of the bikini company Khassani Swimwear. Tantot started her own swimwear line with her sister and gained fame on Instagram. She showcases modeling photos of her swimwear line.
23. Lexi Revera - @lexibrookerivera
Genres: Shows, Humor & Fun & Happiness
We first met Lexi Rivera as the little sister on Brent Rivera's YouTube channel. She now runs her own YouTube channel and social profiles, although she still collaborates with her big brother in some videos.
She started her Instagram account in a break away from YouTube. While she has returned to the video network now, she remains highly popular on Instagram.
24. Lea Elui Ginet - @leaelui
Genres: Modeling, Lifestyle
Lea Elui Ginet is a French Instagram star, dancer, and YouTuber. She rose to fame on Musical.ly (before it merged with TikTok.)
She posts hundreds of photos and clips on her Instagram account showing off her fashion looks.
25. Shane Dawson - @shanedawson
Genres: Shows, Beauty, Humor & Fun & Happiness, Art/Artists
Like many of these popular Instagrammers, Shane Dawson considers himself primarily a YouTuber. Indeed, he was one of the first people to rise to fame on YouTube. His time at YouTube was controversial, and YouTube indefinitely suspended monetization on all three of Dawson's channels in June 2020.
His Instagram account appears to be less of a problem, although recent posts seem to be rare. In his most recent post, Dawson wrote, "I know I haven't posted a video in a long time, and I promise it's not because I don't want to. I'm just trying to stay in a good mindset and be happy. I promise I'm not going to abandon my channel after 15 years of creating."