Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?
The desire for fame, beauty, and influence have always been at the center of our culture. As far back as the cave paintings, humans have obsessed over being the fairest in the land.
The rise of social media has not created a new generation obsessed with fame, rather it’s given them a new means to an end, and Instagram is one of the most popular among potential fame seekers.
Who is the most followed person on Instagram?
The official Instagram account is the world's most popular account with 349 million followers. The most followed person or celebrity is Cristiano Ronaldo with 219 million followers.
Instagram has 1 billion active monthly users and 500 million active daily visitors, making it the 6th most popular social media app in the world. But who is the most popular user among the 1 billion people using Instagram? You might assume it’s a celebrity or a model, but the truth might surprise you!
Note: All follower counts were last recorded on May 22, 2020.
Most followed Instagram accounts
Whether you’re looking to follow the most popular creators for fun or you’re hoping to steal some of their tips for gaining more followers, this list is your one stop shop for the most popular Instagram accounts.
The most popular account on Instagram is...Instagram
Surprise! Instagram is the most followed account on its own platform with 346 million followers, and the reason behind that is actually pretty cool. Their content focuses primarily on highlighting creators, artists, celebrities, and other Instagram users who are creating engaging and appealing content on the app. A featured spot from the official Instagram could send anyone into instant stardom.
Note:For the purposes of this article, we’re excluding Instagram from our official top-ten list but wanted to recognize the massive following they’ve accumulated on their own platform! Our top ten was pulled from non-Instagram associated celebrities and brands.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 215 million followers
With fútbol being the most popular sport in the world, it’s no wonder that Juventus forward and Portugal national team member Cristiano Ronaldo is the most followed Instagrammer on the app. His account focuses primarily on photo highlights from his games and photos of his family.
2. Ariana Grande – 183 million followers
Former Nickelodeon star turned international pop icon, Ariana Grande holds the title of the most-followed woman on Instagram. This five-time platinum recording artist often uses her platform to tease her upcoming musical releases and gives her fans exclusive access to the behind the scenes world of a global music sensation.
3. Dwayne Johnson – 181 million followers
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has had a long and illustrious career, from his start as a professional wrestler in the WWE to becoming one of the highest grossing box-office stars of all time. It’s no wonder this Hollywood darling and 2019 Coolest Dad winner has amassed a following of more than 171 million followers.
4. Selena Gomez – 174 million followers
Named Billboard’s Woman of the Year back in 2017, Selena Gomez hasn’t slowed down since her days on the Disney Channel. She’s won numerous awards for her solo music career and has recently begun producing shows for Netflix. This triple-threat entertainer uses her social feed to communicate with fans and thank them for always sticking by her side.
5. Kylie Jenner – 172 million followers
Founder and owner of cosmetic company Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner was officially world’s youngest self-made billionaire in March 2019. Though she gained popularity through her appearances on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kylie has since made a name for herself as a beauty mogul and entrepreneur.
6. Kim Kardashian – 167 million followers
Television star, beauty mogul, and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian West is one of the most well-known celebrity figures of our time. Whether it’s sharing updates about an upcoming beauty line or giving an insight into pursuits to become a lawyer, Kim is known for sharing everything about her life with her adoring fans.
7. Leo Messi – 149 million followers
Six-time FIFA Best Men's Player award winner and Barcelona forward Leo Messi is the second athlete to crack the top ten most followed Instagrammers. He’s the world's highest paid professional athlete and father of three children. Messi spends most of time on Instagram posting game highlights and pictures of his family.
8. Beyoncé – 145 million followers
A veteran of the music industry for the last 25 years, Beyoncé is one of the worlds best known performers and entrepreneurs. She’s sold over 160 million records between her solo career and her work with Destiny's Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. They don’t call her Queen B for nothing!
9. Neymar – 138 million followers
Neymar is the third futbol star to make our list. Neymar is the third-highest paid athlete in the world and was named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people in the world in 2017. When he’s not playing forward for Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team, he’s posting photos of his life and travels on his Instagram.
10. National Geographic – 135 million followers
Founded in 1888, the official National Geographic Instagram account proves that old dogs can learn new tricks. This award winning publication uses their digital platform to showcase the world-class photography of their staff. Sharing the world through the eyes of National Geographic, it’s no wonder they’ve collected more than 131 million followers over the years.
Other popular Instagram accounts
Though our list only provided highlights for the top ten, we figured we’d give you a few more! Here are numbers 11 through 20 for the most followed Instagram accounts in 2020.
#11 – Justin Bieber / 133 million
#16 – Nike / 111 million
#12 – Taylor Swift / 131 million
#17 Khloe Kardashian – / 111 million
#13 – Kendall Jenner / 129 million
#18 – Miley Cyrus / 109 million
#14 – Jennifer Lopez / 121 million
#19 – Katy Perry / 96 million
#15 – Nicki Minaj / 114 million
#20 – Kourtney Kardashian / 92 million
Noticing a trend? The most popular Instagram accounts are owned by famous celebrities and huge brands. These influencers have changed the game when it comes to celebrity and building a personal brand.
Discover how your brand can harness the power of influencers.
Do it for the ‘gram
So, what does it take to build a following? Fame certainly helps, but ultimately creating quality content over a long period of time is what will keep your audience coming back for more. While you may not be celebrity status, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from the best to build a following of your own.
Hey! Are you curious about who the most followed people on other platforms are? Check out of list on the most followed Youtubers here!
Lauren is a Content Marketing Manager at G2. You can find her work featured on CNBC, Yahoo Finance, and on the G2 Learning Hub. In her free time, Lauren enjoys watching true crime shows and spending time in the Chicago karaoke scene. (she/her/hers)