Who Has the Most Instagram Followers Right Now? – January 2019
With more than a billion users, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks on the web today, seeing more than 100 million unique visits per month on mobile alone in February of 2018. It’s the eighth-biggest online community today, behind Facebook and fellow Facebook-owned companies Messenger and WhatsApp, along with popular international chat apps WeChat, QQ, and Viber. With the exception of WeChat, all of those applications are dedicated to messaging, which makes Instagram the third-biggest social network in the world and the second-biggest in North America. It’s a massively-important platform for users and brands alike, with most people using the site to follow not just their friends, but the content that piques their interest. Whether you’re using Instagram to see what your friends from college are doing, uploading your own photos and videos from your daily life, or using the Instagram Stories option as a Snapchat replacement, there’s no shortage of opportunities on Instagram.
One of the most-popular ways to use Instagram is to follow the biggest celebrities in the world. Unlike other social media accounts, which may be managed by professional publishers and teams of people aiming to cultivate a following without the direct inclusion of the person themselves, Instagram accounts are often a great way to see the real-world lives of the biggest movie stars, musicians, comedians, athletes, and more. Whether you’re looking to follow your favorite celebs, or you just need some new content in your feed, looking for some popular celebrities and Instagram influencers to follow can be a great way to use the social platform.
If you’re looking for some celebrities and other famous users to follow on Instagram, it’s a good idea to start with these top twenty-five influencers. For the purpose of this article, we’ve dedicated the top twenty-five spots to individuals only—no brands or teams, but actual, real people who share their incredible lives and experiences on Instagram. While this means that a few popular Instagram accounts may not make the cut, including Spain’s Real Madrid football club, the official Victoria’s Secret account, and the social page for National Geographic, you should absolutely go follow those accounts as well if you’re interested in seeing some amazing content in your feed. This also means we’ve cut the official Instagram account from our list, an account that has nearly double the followers of our number one pick.
Without further ado, these are the top 25 celebrity accounts on Instagram, organized by their number of followers. Let’s dive in.
Vin Diesel is a force to be reckoned with. Despite being 50 years old, Diesel is one of the world’s biggest action stars, thanks largely due to the success of The Fast and the Furious. Diesel has been acting since 1990, gaining notoriety in the late 90s for his role in Saving Private Ryan and for voicing the titular character in Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant. After starring in Pitch Black, he rose to prominence in The Fast and the Furious, a series he returned to in 2009’s Fast and Furious and has stayed with since, becoming the main star one of the world’s biggest franchises in film. Since then, he’s also voiced Groot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starred in two sequels to Pitch Black, and was featured in movies like The Last Witch Hunter and xXx. Diesel posts updates on his various film franchises for his fans on Instagram, which has netted him a following of 51.7 million users.
In the 1990s, NSYNC formed to become one of the biggest bands in the world at the time, releasing three studio albums and a Christmas album between 1997 and 2001. While all five members have gone onto other projects after breaking up in 2002, Justin Timberlake saw the biggest success in a solo career, releasing his debut album Justified to massive success in 2003, buoyed by singles like “Cry Me a River” and “Rock Your Body.” Since then, Timberlake has stayed in the public eye, putting out four additional albums between 2007 and 2018 and building a successful acting career, appearing in critically-acclaimed films like The Social Network and Inside Llewyn Davis. On Instagram, he posts clips from his life with his family and on tour, making for an entertaining look inside the life of Timberlake for his 53.4 million followers.
Though she began her career as a child model and backup dancer, Zendaya found fame in the public eye after being cast in Shake It Up on Disney, which she starred in for three seasons alongside Bella Thorne. Following the conclusion of that show, she continued her career with Disney, starring in the spy-comedy KC Undercover, which also ran for three seasons before ending its run this year. In 2017, Zendaya’s stardom bloomed onto the big screen, making appearances in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming as MJ, and the massive hit musical film The Greatest Showman alongside Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron. Outside of acting, she’s also found work as a film producer and released a full-length album in 2013. On Instagram, she shares selfies, videos, and other personal posts with her legion of 54 million followers.
Kicking off our list at number 25, Shakira is a Colombian singer and songwriter who’s been active in the music industry for three full decades now, though her first venture into the English-speaking market wouldn’t arrive until 2001 with her hit single “Whenever, Wherever,” which remained her most successful single until the release of “Hips Don’t Lie” in 2006. Though her music hasn’t always been popular in the United States, she has achieved chart success all over the world throughout the 2000s, becoming a pop success to rival. She also lent her voice to the character Gazelle in the 2016 hit Disney film Zootopia, recording and releasing a single for the film. On Instagram, she has 55.9 million followers and often alternates between posts promoting her latest projects and personal photos from her life.
Dominating the pop charts for more than a full decade takes some serious dedication, but Rihanna’s managed to make it look easy. Fourteen of her singles have hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts since “SOS” in 2008, giving her the fourth-most number one hits in pop history, and becoming the only artist to produce number-one singles from seven consecutive albums. Her last two albums have both hit number one on the Billboard 200, and it’s exceedingly rare not to see Rihanna make an appearance on the Billboard charts somewhere in each year. In addition to her music career, Rihanna has made film appearances in Battleship, This is the End, Home, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Most recently, she appeared in Ocean’s 8, a spin-off of the popular Oceans franchise. Rihanna uses her Instagram pretty often, posting to her Story multiple times every day and promoting her projects and photos to her 67.1 million followers.
One of the biggest comedians working right now, Kevin Hart’s stardom has seen no sign of slowing down in recent years. After releasing his debut stand-up album in 2008, his film career blossomed throughout the 2010s, starring in films like Think Like a Man, Ride Along and its sequel, Get Hard, and The Wedding Ringer. While his stardom has certainly found its place at the box office, Hart has continued to tour as a comedian, releasing Kevin Hart: What Now? as a major theatrical release in 2016, where it grossed more than $23 million. In 2017, he starred in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which became the fifth-highest grossing film of the year. Hart is no stranger to social media, either. With 68.7 million followers, Hart’s fans follow his daily updates closely, watching as he documents time with his family and behind-the-scenes looks at his stand-up tour and film work.
Demi Lovato has been in the entertainment industry since she was ten, appearing on the children’s show Barney & Friends as Angelica alongside childhood friend Selena Gomez. She rose to stardom after appearing in the Disney Channel short series As The Bell Rings, during which she auditioned for both the Disney Channel Original film Camp Rock and the Disney Channel series Sonny with a Chance, gaining the main role in both projects. While her time at Disney ended in 2011, Demi has found massive success in pop music, releasing her sixth studio album in 2017 and hosting as a judge on the American version of The X Factor for seasons two and three of the show. On Instagram, Demi entertains her 70.9 million followers with photos of her life, and though she took a hiatus from posting in 2018 following her public hospitalization, she’s since returned to posting on her account.
The first of the Kardashian-Jenner family to appear on this countdown, Kourtney Kardashian is a television personality best known for her appearances on Keeping Up With The Kardashians and its spin-offs Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami and Kourtney and Kim Take New York. She is the oldest of the Kardashian family, and most often appears with her younger sisters Kim and Khloe and her half-sisters Kendall and Kylie. Known well for her social media, Kourtney uses her Instagram posts to publicize her makeup and fashion lines to her 72.7 million followers. While her posts are creative and well-shot, it’s Kourtney’s Instagram Story that is incredible fun and fascinating to watch, featuring up-to-the-minute posts about where Kourtney is and what she’s doing next.
Katy Perry’s influence on the pop music scene throughout the last decade is inescapable, first rising to prominence with the release of her 2008 singles “I Kissed a Girl” and “Hot n Cold.” For ten years, Perry has released a number of chart-topping singles, including “California Gurls,” “Teenage Dream,”Fireworks,”Roar,” and “Dark Horse.” Outside of her music career, Perry has appeared in The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2 as Smurfette, and appeared in her own 3D concert film Katy Perry: Part of Me. In 2018, Perry has served as one of the judges on the revival of American Idol, and she uses Instagram to promote both that show and her other assorted projects with her 74.7 million fans. If you want a more intimate look at Perry’s life, her Instagram Story can often be pretty entertaining.
Miley Cyrus has been inescapable in the public eye since she first starred on her hit Disney Channel show Hannah Montana in 2006. Born into a showbiz family led by her father, country-rock musician Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley left her Disney stardom behind in 2011, first starring in The Last Song in 2010 and the release of her first non-Hannah Montana album, Can’t Be Tamed. Since then, she’s reinvented her public image twice, first as a wild and free musician in 2013 with the release of her album Bangerz, and again in 2017 with the country-pop-rock album Younger Now, which found Miley leaning into her country and southern roots. With 81.1 million followers on Instagram, Miley remains a huge public star, and despite a calmer personality in recent years, her posts are still occasionally a bit NSFW.
What can’t Jennifer Lopez do? From her origins as a backup dancer for New Kids on the Block in 1991 to her own breakthrough stardom in film (Blood and Wine, Selena, Anaconda) and music, with the release of “If You Had My Love” in 1999. Since then, JLo has released eight studio albums with a ninth on the way, starred in films like The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan, The Boy Next Door, and Lila and Eve, created clothing and fashion lines, fragrances, the production company Nuyorican Productions, has starred in the television series Shades of Blue, and even founded the Lopez Family Foundation. On Instagram, JLo shows off photos from her tour with her 85.4 million followers, and was recently voted by Time as one of the most influential people working today.
Our second Kardashian to make it on the list, Khloe Kardashian has followed the lead of her older siblings Kim and Kourtney, becoming a businesswoman, model, and entrepreneur. In addition to her time in reality television programming with series like Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Kourtney and Khloe Take the Hamptons, she also has her own clothing and fragrance lines, and has become a regular television personality on all sorts of programs, networks, and genres. Recently, Khloe has hosted Revenge Body on E!, and just recently had her first child with her partner, basketball player Tristan Thompson. From professional photos to cute spur-of-the-moment selfies, Khloe lets her massive fanbase of 85.6 million followers (making her tied with J-Lo!) on Instagram into her life regularly, posting on her Story daily and feature photos throughout the week on her feed.
No female rapper in the last ten years has been able to lay claim to the title of rap queen more than Nicki Minaj. Despite only putting three albums out between 2008 and 2018, her presence has been inescapable in modern pop and hip-hop, with Nicki one of the few rappers working today album to swing so suddenly from pop hits (“Starships,” “Pound the Alarm,”) to rap bangers (“Only,” her verse on Kanye’s “Monster”). With the recent release of Nicki’s new singles “Barbie Tingz” and “Chun-Li,” and the promotion of her latest album Queen, she’s been on a social media tear lately, sharing fanart, remixes, and other promotional content with her legion of fans. Nicki’s Instagram following is just as big as her personality: with 98 million followers on the photo-sharing service, her success can’t be argued with.
Our third entry from the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kendall Jenner rose to prominence in her celebrity-filled family and on the reality show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but has perhaps become more popular for founding the “Instagirl movement,” becoming a model best known for her work on Instagram. Jenner became the highest-paid model in 2017 according to Forbes, a title not easily earned, and still regularly appears on Keeping Up with the rest of her family. Jenner has also become known for her charitable actions and donations, and for using Instagram to promote products to the millennial market. At 22 years old, Kendall is one of the youngest users to make an appearance on this list, and has managed to rack up 102 million followers as of writing.
One of the first pop stars to rise to stardom after being discovered on YouTube, Justin Bieber’s been around in pop culture since the release of his early singles “One Time,” “One Less Lonely Girl,” and “Baby,” the latter of which featured Usher and managed to reach Diamond status from the RIAA despite never hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Since then, Bieber has been a worldwide phenomenon. He’s released three studio albums, the most recent in 2016, and has found success in both his own singles and in features, most recently on the remix of “Despacito” and “I’m the One” in 2017. On Instagram, Bieber has built a fanbase of 104 million fans, sharing a look at his life and often posting photos meant to make you laugh. Even more than that, however, are his Stories, in which he often speaks directly to his fans.
Our first athlete to make an appearance on the list, Lionel Messi is a professional football player from Argentina who has spent his entire career playing for FC Barcelona. Since he began playing professionally, he has won a record-tying 5 Ballon d’Or awards and holds dozens of records and other awards for his playing. Messi is often considered one of the best football players of all time, helping him cultivate a large public following online. He has 107 million followers on Instagram as of writing, and though his biography is written in his native Spanish, his photos are typically shared without captions for fans and viewers to enjoy without language barriers. On his page, you’ll find photos of his family, his training, and of course, his actual games of football.
Just ahead of Leo, Neymar Jr. has also managed to captivate his fans and audience around the world. He’s been playing football professionally since he was 17, first playing in South America before relocating to Europe in 2013 to join FC Barcelona, where he played until the conclusion of the 2016-17 season. In 2017, he transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain FC in what was and remains the most expensive transfer in the history of football, effectively becoming the most expensive football player ever. In the 2017-18 season, he began playing for his new team, though underwent surgery this past February after a foot injury. Unlike Leo’s account, Neymar’s Instagram focuses on his lifestyle, displaying photos of the player at poker tables, partying with his friends, and generally living life for his 110m followers.
Tied for follower count with Kylie Jenner, musician and pop sensation Taylor Swift has been in the public eye for a full decade now, beginning in 2006 with the release of her debut single “Tim McGraw.” Originally performing country-focused music powered by an acoustic guitar, Swift slowly moved towards a more pop-friendly sound, with her fourth album Red gaining playback on pop and country stations alike. Her fifth album, 1989, moved her sound to a more radio-friendly pop and dance-pop sound, leading to some of Swift’s biggest singles of her career, and in 2017, she released her sixth album, Reputation. Swift doesn’t use the Stories feature much on Instagram, but she does use the platform to share photos and videos with her 114 million follows on the site.
The fourth entrance of the Kardashian-Jenner family, Kylie Jenner is the youngest influencer on this list and the youngest of the core group of sisters that have stayed in the public eye for more than a decade now. Kylie rose in popularity for her appearances on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but has become better known lately for her line of cosmetic products adorned with her name. Time Magazine named Jenner one of the most influential teens in 2014 and 2015, and in 2017, she became the youngest person to find a place on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. Last year, Kylie gained her own spin-off from Keeping Up, titled Life of Kylie. In 2018, she gave birth to her first child with her partner, rapper Travis Scott, after a highly-publicized pregnancy. The announcement of her child’s birth was first released on Instagram, which may be just one of the reasons the youngest Jenner has racked up 125 million followers.
Absolutely no one can deny Beyonce’s stardom. From her days in Destiny’s Child to her massively successful solo career, Beyonce is one of the world’s biggest pop stars. After releasing four studio albums (and a Christmas album) with Destiny’s Child in the 1990s and 2000s, Beyonce’s solo career became more successful than anyone could’ve imagined. Beyonce’s earlier albums are genuine pop hits, successful entries with chart-topping singles, but it’s her recent work that has elevated her status to an indisputable queen of pop music. Her surprise-released self-titled fifth album in 2015 received rave reviews, and her 2016 album Lemonade, centered around her marriage with Jay Z and became her most critically-acclaimed album yet. As we write this, Beyonce is coming off a historic show at Coachella 2018, which she shared photos from on her Instagram page with her 123 million followers.
The fifth and final entry from the Kardashian-Jenners should be no surprise to anyone who’s kept up with pop culture throughout the 2000s. Kim Kardashian West is a force to be reckoned with, a true icon who became famous with the debut of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Kim has used her fame and her knowledge as a businesswoman to participate in all sorts of ventures; she’s released a successful mobile game on iOS, several clothing lines, and even a 2015 photo book titled Selfish. After she married rapper Kanye West in 2014, their relationship became a mainstay interest in the lives of millions of Americans; together, they have three children. Kim uses her Instagram account to promote her and her family’s product lines, and to share images of her life as a socialite, entrepreneur, wife, and mother with her 125 million followers.
What can be said about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson that isn’t already well-known. Johnson has spent his entire career entertaining whatever audience he has, rising to fame in the late 1990s and 2000s through his professional wrestling career with the WWF and WWE, becoming known as “the People’s Champion” and his classic signature move, the Rock Bottom. Outside of wrestling, Johnson has become known today as an actor, creating big-budget action flicks that work to please the audience. He’s become a fan-favorite in the Fast and Furious franchise, after joining the series in 2011’s hit Fast Five, and even has a spin-off for his character on the way in 2019. Other box office hits include Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Moana, both of which received positive reviews. The Rock’s social media is some of the most fun you can have on the internet, and with 129 million followers on Instagram, there’s a good chance you already follow him.
Like many of her peers, Ariana Grande started out as a child actor, first rising to popularity on the Nickelodeon show Victorious alongside Victoria Justice. After the wrap of the first season, Grande began to focus on a musical career while simultaneous going on to star on a spin-off of Victorious, Sam and Cat. Since then, Grande has released three albums, including 2016’s Dangerous Woman, which received positive reviews from critics. As we write this, Grande is experiencing her first cultural revival in more than a year, just two days after releasing her new single “No Tears Left to Cry” from her upcoming 2018 album release and the night after she played Coachella in its second weekend. With her long-awaited fourth album on the horizon, it’s likely that Grande’s follower count will grow bigger in the weeks left to come; currently, it sits at 143 million.
It may come as a shock for some readers, but the runner-up for biggest celebrity Instagram account in 2018 is held by Selena Gomez, falling from the top spot she held since 2016. It’s hard to nail down what makes Gomez so popular with her fans and followers, though certainly her massive music career and her former days as a Disney star have helped. But as Vanity Fair wrote in 2016, it may come down to how Gomez comes off on her Instagram account: she’s relatable. In April 2018, for example, Gomez showed herself eating pizza in pajamas while talking to the camera about her love of Amy Schumer’s new film I Feel Pretty. Ultimately, Gomez’s fanbase is extremely dedicated, and the success of her social media brand as the top account for nearly two full years shows that, even outside of her music, Selena knows how to captivate an audience. As of writing, she’s managed to gain more than 144 million followers.
Our top spot may be a surprise pick to our North American readers, but anyone in a football-playing country will be immediately familiar with the work of Cristiano Ronaldo. A Portuguese football player, Ronaldo began playing professional football for Manchester United in 2003, becoming their first Portuguese player and, at the time, the most expensive player in history. From 2003 to 2009, Ronaldo played for MUFC, gaining praise and accolades for his abilities and becoming known as one of the best players of all time. In the 2009-10 season, he was transferred to Real Madrid for a then-record amount of money, where he has played since. He has won five Ballon d’Or awards, tied with Lionel Messi, and in both 2016 and 2017, was voted the most famous athlete in the world by ESPN. His Instagram follower count makes that clear, too: he has over 152 million followers on his account.