Who are the Top 10 Instagram Influencers in the World?

Since its inception more than a decade ago, Instagram has reached over 1.1 billion monthly active users. This online photo-sharing social network was acquired by Facebook in 2012, and thanks to the various features that the company kept introducing over the years, everyone’s looking to become an Instagram influencer these days – because it pays (and not just metaphorically)!

Because of the way this social media app encourages creativity, striking photography, and ways for users to interact with their favourite accounts, users who have figured out how to leverage these features have become instant celebrities – and that’s not counting those who were already A-list. Simply knowing the best time to post isn’t enough anymore, because the competition is tough and influencers need to stay one step ahead of the game if they want to keep up their popularity – and, of course, their income stream.

Who is a social media influencer?

A social media influencer is a social media user who has built a reputation in a certain niche, has a large audience, and is considered an expert in their field whose advice the audience is ready to follow through on. 

An influencer could be anybody from a blogger to a movie star – and because of the legitimacy that Instagram influencers have built over their careers, influencer marketing has left Instagram advertisement or Facebook/Meta marketing far behind and is quickly becoming an important tool for businesses to increase their brand awareness and sales on this social network.

In fact, according to some Instagram statistics, 71% of marketers in 2020 said that the quality of traffic they received from influencer marketing was better than that from other sources (including Instagram ads), and 86% of them plan to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2022. 

Influencers use sponsorships to create & share content and generate income – and because their followers consider them to be an authority, 80% of businesses that sponsor influencers (with products or services) see an increase in their revenue. It’s no wonder that influencer marketing is seen as the most effective marketing trend by most marketers. And what’s more, since Instagram content is shareable, the rate of engagement increases exponentially, sometimes leading to viral content.

Who are the top 10 Instagram influencers?

That being said, you might be wondering who the top Instagram influencers are. Let’s have a look at the top ten influencers on Instagram who have the most followers!

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 426M followers
Cristiano Ronaldo – 426M followers
Image source: instagram.com/cristiano

No one in the world has a larger social media presence than Juventus soccer superstar and five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo. The highest-paid Instagram influencer, who earns $1.6 million for each sponsored post, has over 426 million followers on Instagram. He has done paid collaborations with big brands such as Nike and also has his own line of designer underwear. Ronaldo excels at one thing on Instagram: He posts frequently. With regular updates about his life (family, training, games), he keeps his audience engaged in his material and interested in his life.

  1. Kylie Jenner – 327M followers
Kylie Jenner – 327M followers
Image source: instagram.com/kyliejenner

Kylie Jenner‘s 327 million Instagram followers have made her a top influencer and a force to reckon with. She flaunts her modelling, socialite status and beauty empire (Kylie Cosmetics) through her Instagram posts, demonstrating her versatility. She also once held the record for the most-liked Instagram post until an egg beat her to it!

Jenner earns almost a million dollars for every sponsored Instagram post, according to Hopper HQ’s Instagram Rich List, making her one of the highest-paid Instagram influencers.

Jenner previously starred in the reality TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and is the youngest self-made billionaire in the world. She promotes her own brand of cosmetics and is frequently spotted flaunting her latest makeup kits.

  1. Lionel Messi – 319M followers
Lionel Messi – 319M followers
Image source: instagram.com/leomessi

One of Ronaldo’s biggest rivals in football also happens to be one of CR7’s biggest on Instagram. The Argentinian striker has shown to be rather apt at the social media game as well, competing with Kylie Jenner for the third slot.

Leo Messi has gathered a phenomenal fan base on Instagram over the course of his career and is currently sitting at a cool 319 million followers on his Instagram account. The Argentinian captain also won a record seven Ballon d’Or awards, scored more goals in LaLiga than anyone else while at Barcelona (474) and scored 758 times in senior matches for club and country – but none of those numbers compares to the nine figures on his Instagram account.

  1. Selena Gomez – 312M followers
Selena Gomez – 312M followers
Image source: instagram.com/selenagomez

Selena Gomez, a musician and actor, has already been on the list of most-liked Instagram photos. Her account has the typical stream of pop star selfies, herself at events, and images of her pals, but it also contains a few political messages about topics like women’s rights. She is also the founder of Rare Beauty, a makeup line that promotes natural beauty and donates 1% of its profits to mental health.

The actress and singer started her career in 2002 with the PBS children’s show, Barney & Friends, and also starred in the popular Disney Channel show, The Wizards of Waverly Place. She was dating superstar Justin Bieber at one point, who also makes our top 10 list.

  1. Dwayne Johnson – 309M followers
Dwayne Johnson – 309M followers
Image source: instagram.com/therock

In another neck-and-neck struggle for Instagram supremacy, The People’s Champ and Ariana Grande remain neck-and-neck for the 5th most-followed slot, seemingly switching places every few weeks or so. Currently, it goes to The Rock, a Hollywood movie star, tequila millionaire, possible presidential contender, and former WWE champion who has established an ever-growing fanbase by delivering an inexhaustible supply of fitness and lifestyle encouragement.

  1. Ariana Grande – 305M followers
Ariana Grande – 305M followers
Image source: instagram.com/arianagrande

It’s no secret that Ariana Grande has a lot to teach us about social media marketing. Her Instagram account, which boasts 305 million followers, is consistently delivering content that gets engagement from her audience.

But what makes her so successful? Here are some of the lessons we can learn from her:

  • She posts content relevant to her audience
  • She posts regularly
  • She interacts with her followers
  1. Kim Kardashian – 300M followers

Already having one of the most renowned faces in the world, Kim’s post-Kanye life has only gotten more intriguing, and it’s no surprise to find Kim Kardashian in the top ten. While Keeping Up with the Kardashians may have ended after 20 seasons, Kim remains in the spotlight and shows no signs of slowing down. And, with a new Kardashian-Jenner Hulu programme in the works, we’ll be seeing a lot of Kim for a long time to come.

  1. Beyoncé – 250M followers
Beyoncé – 250M followers
Image source: instagram.com/beyonce

Even after all these years, there will only ever be one Beyoncé. With Lemonade, the singer, actress, songwriter, producer, dancer, businesswoman, director, and more, forever changed the way artists release albums, and Queen B has found a way to walk the line between larger-than-life superstardom and giving us the occasional intimate glimpse into her world via social media.

She met her husband, Jay Z, when she was 18 years old, and even after 13 years of marriage, the couple is still going strong and share three children. Beyoncé makes her money from her albums, concert tours and modelling, as well as her clothing line, Ivy Park.

  1. Justin Bieber – 230M followers
Justin Bieber – 230M followers
Image source: instagram.com/justinbieber

His talent was discovered by American record executive, Scooter Braun, and he quickly rose to viral fame and stardom before signing with RBMG Records in 2008. Over the past few years, the Canadian singer and songwriter’s Instagram account has seen significant changes. Justin Bieber’s path from teen phenomenon to disturbed adolescent to very spiritual and devout personality has been widely recorded on his account. His posts often include him polishing his performance talents, a few inspiring quotations, and gorgeous photos with his wife, Hailey Baldwin.

  1. Virat Kohli – 190M followers
Virat Kohli – 190M followers
Image source: instagram.com/virat.kohli

The Indian cricket skipper is the only one on our list outside of Europe or the Americas. Kohli, who has many fan Instagram profiles with significant followings as well, is able to mobilise his sizable fanbase into action when he publishes motivational tales that go viral. On his Instagram, he normally keeps things light and enjoyable, uploading clips and images with his wife, Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, as well as fellow cricketers and friends.

Influencer Marketing: Does It Really Work?

Influencer Marketing: Does It Really Work?

Now that you know who the top influencers on Instagram are, you have a better idea of the kind of influencer marketing they’re able to accomplish and the money they’re able to make from sponsored content. Of course, reaching the level of these top influencers might not be possible for everyone, but there are many smaller influencers such as Khaby Lame, Lele Pons, Huda Beauty, and PewDiePie who were able to attract millions of followers based on their content alone.

So, there’s no doubt that Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular mobile advertising platforms in the world to boost revenue and engagement for businesses. Businesses leverage the popularity of these social media platforms for influencer marketing and Instagram ads to promote their products or services and increase sales – and their Instagram statistics prove that, too.

We’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of influencer marketing so that you know exactly what you’re getting into if you decide to go down that route for your brand or business. It will also help you come up with a better influencer marketing plan to suit your needs.


  • Reach, brand awareness, sales, and engagement rates all increase for B2C viewers who feel connected to the influencer they follow – and, hence, are more likely to try out something they recommend.
  • Influencers aid SEO by having their own highly-rated websites that receive a lot of traffic. Plus, online photo sharing helps showcase the product along with relevant hashtags to increase views.
  • Word-of-mouth marketing strengthens trust, brand identification, and awareness because it involves actual individuals rather than simply the company. It sometimes even works better than Instagram ads.
  • Traditional marketing strategies are no longer appealing to consumers. They would rather believe authentic referrals, particularly YouTube/Instagram/Twitter celebrities, since they appear to be more trustworthy than a brand’s own promotion of its products and services.


  • Influencer marketing is a tactic that should be used as part of your overall marketing plan – and not as an isolated strategy. This requires time, money, devotion, and strategic thinking to bring all channels together so that they align to give customers a unified message.
  • You must cultivate connections with the influencers with whom you collaborate, and this requires time, effort, and commitment. You and your team must invest in your influencers: Get to know them, invite them to events, and establish trust.
  • By paying influencers, you won’t be able to buy your way to success because influencers will not risk their audience’s trust by saying good things about a brand they don’t see eye-to-eye with. So, you always run the risk of spending money and having outcomes that fall short of your expectations, unlike with Instagram ads.
  • You can not enforce too many rules on influencers. They have cultivated an audience over years – and for good reason. There’s a reason they have the followers, and not the brands – because people trust people, not corporations.


Influencer marketing has been a pretty frequent buzzword in digital marketing circles for a while now. It’s a modern-day take on celebrity endorsement, taking into account content-driven campaigns and changing trends. Given that, it’s not surprising that Instagram statistics show that the influencer marketing industry reached $13.8 billion in 2021, and businesses are making an easy $5.78 on every $1 spent – sounds like a dream, right?
So, if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, it’s time to stop focusing on Instagram ads only and give influencer marketing a shot – after all, there’s a lot of money in this game. Just ask any one of the top ten influencers we’ve listed above!