It’s 2019, and the compilation keeps on, as things keep on changing‘—and that includes, social media-verse. One thing that hasn’t changed: Instagram’s status as the internet’s most influential (or, at least, most influenced-filled) app.
Whether they have the most compelling feeds or just the most loyal fandom, which celebrities have the biggest Instagram followings say a lot about the state of pop culture—whose feeds we’re thirsty to scroll though for endless glam shots and what makes us hit that “like” button. Below, find out which stars have the most popular accounts of the year, including some who have been holding down top spots for years and some who are new to the list this year.
10. Taylor Swift: 122 million followers
2018 ranking: No. 6
What she’s famous for: Singing, dating, singing about dating, feuds, acceptance speeches shading her feuds, being a cat lady.
Her greatest ‘Gram strength: Taylor’s Instagram prowess is two-fold. On the one hand, she has an Illuminati-like ability to communicate with her fans via cryptic, hidden clues within her posts. On the other hand, she’s one of the top cat ladies of Instagram and if you say you don’t kind of live for pictures of Meredith, Olivia, and Benjamin, then you’re lying to yourself.
9. Neymar: 127 million followers
2018 ranking: No. 10
What he’s famous for: Playing forward for French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team and going by one name a total badass.
His greatest ‘Gram strength: His down-to-earth enthusiasm, for sure. Neymar posts lots of epic action shots and gym pics (like all professional athletes tend to do), but he also shares some of the most relatable pics with friends, “bros,” and famous people he fanboys out for.
8. Leo Messi: 134.2 million followers
2018 ranking: N/A — Leo wasn’t among the top 10 most-followed celebrities on Instagram last year. Welcome to the big leagues, Leo!
What he’s famous for: Playing forward and captaining both Barcelona and the Argentina national team.
His greatest ‘Gram strength: Being the ultimate family man. Mixed in among his soccer action shots are some of the cutest, most endearing family pictures we’ve ever seen.
7. Beyoncé: 134.3 million followers
2018 ranking: No. 4
What she’s famous for: Being reigning queen of the music industry/pop culture in general.
Her greatest ‘Gram strength: FASHUN. Bey is notoriously private and, unlike many celebs, her Instagram feed isn’t a deep window into her personal life, but it is a pretty reliable window into her best lewks—which includes every look she ever shares.
6. Kylie Jenner: 149.3 million followers
2018 ranking: No. 7
What she’s famous for: Lip kits, empire-running, “secret” pregnancies, and, of course, a little show called Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
Her greatest ‘Gram strength: Looking luxe AF literally all of the time. Kylie’s feed embodies the “Instagram” lifestyle, complete with mansions, pools, private jets, and more Lambos than you’ve seen in your life. Kylie’s Instagram is the escapism fantasy you need to swipe through after a drab day.
5. Kim Kardashian: 144.1 million followers
2018 ranking: No. 5What she’s famous for: “Being famous,” her groundbreaking, long-running reality TV, epic fragrance launches, controversial selfies, and 🍑🍑🍑 forever.
Her greatest ‘Gram strength: Yes, Kim still posts her share of headline-making, sometimes-naked selfies on Instagram, but the mother of four’s most stand out posts these days are the intimate pictures she shares of her family.
4. Selena Gomez: 158 million followers
2018 ranking: No. 1
What she’s famous for: Singing, acting, producing, speaking out about mental health, and a certain on-again/off-again romance.
Her greatest ‘Gram strength: #SponCon. Selena hasn’t been the most active Instagrammer of late (which could have contributed to her drop from the top spot to No. 3 this year), and a lot of her recent posts are #ads for brands she partners with, like Coach and Puma. To her immense credit though, Selena has mastered the art of crafting ad posts that also double as posts you genuinely want to double-tap
3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: 159.9 million followers
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The People’s Champ and The Man of the People. Big shout to my dance partner and the man, herself @beckylynchwwe for takin’ care of business with me and delivering Smackdown’s highest rated segment of the entire show. You need me, you know how to find me. I’ll do the same. 👋🏾👋🏾👊🏾 Onward and see ya down the road. #chemistry
2018 ranking: No. 8
What he’s famous for: Acting, (formerly) wrestling, eyebrow olympics, abs/pecs/all the muscles, and being the most likable, down-to-earth chiseled god-like person around.
His greatest ‘Gram strength: Two words: Gym. Pics. The Rock is so-named for a reason—as in “muscles as hard as a” or “body that appears to be chiseled from.” The actor keeps fans up to date on his workout routine, which is a huge draw, whether you’re looking for fitspo or eye candy. Another major (though perhaps less celebrated) Instagram strength of Johnson’s? His selfie videos, which showcase the lovable teddy bear that lives inside the suit of muscle armor.
2. Ariana Grande: 166 million followers
2018: ranking: No. 3
What she’s famous for: Singing, acting, pony-tail having, and whirlwind romance.
Her greatest ‘Gram strength: Ariana’s grid has major artistic vibes, with lots of black and white and vintage-y filtered photos. She’s also a master of posting promotion-y pics (think concert shots, campaign photos, and music video promos) in an organic way.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo: 187 million followers
2018 ranking: No. 2
What he’s famous for: Being an international soccer star/hunk.
His greatest ‘Gram strength: TBH, Cristiano’s grid has it all—action shots, chiseled shirtless portraits, and “get you a guy who can do both” suit and tie poses: the bread and butter. His perfectly-crafted posts have paid off and his position on Instagram’s most-followed list has been on the rise for years now, culminating in his ascension to the No.1 slot this year.
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