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The 10 most followed Instagram accounts in the world

With “roughly one billion” monthly active users, the app boasts one of the largest platforms on the planet.

Instagram has had us hooked from the moment it launched as a photo-sharing app in October 2010. Over the decade since, it has evolved into many things: a place to connect with old friends, or new lovers; a portfolio for creatives; a battleground for social justice; an online shopping portal; a hornet’s nest of misinformation; a mirror into what we care about, carefully vetted and fed back to us by the all-seeing Algorithm™.

The rich and famous have used Instagram to further (and hinder) their own careers, giving followers a glimpse into their lives, their views, their plans and more — life-casting in nearly real-time for audiences of millions awaiting their every move. Whether that’s thrilling or frightening is in the eye of the beholder. Either way, the rest of us can’t seem to get enough.

Curious about what the most-followed Instagram accounts are right now? We’ve rounded up the top 10 — as of October 2021 — that keep us logging in and coming back for more. Check them out below, and why not drop @lifestyleasiahk a follow while you’re at it?

1. Instagram (@instagram)

Followers: 436 million

The official Instagram handle is the most-followed account on the entire platform, boasting a total of 436 million followers at press time. Of its nearly 7,000 posts, the most recent feature a variety of the platform’s popular, creative or what it deems attention-worthy creators, such as Chammy Choi (@porojin), shown above.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)

Followers: 359 million

Here’s a guy who had quite the year, didn’t he? Since making his grand comeback to Manchester United, Ronaldo’s star (and following) have both continued to rise. The first individual to reach 200 million followers on the platform, the 400 million mark doesn’t look far away.

3. Kylie Jenner (@kyliejenner)

Followers: 278 million

Kylie Cosmetics. Kylie Skin. Kylie Swim. Kylie Baby. All light work for the most-followed woman in the world. When we first made this list, Kylie Jenner was sitting a few places back behind Ariana Grande — Sorry, Ari — and it’s starting to look like even Ronaldo might have some competition. The race to 500 million is on.

4. Lionel Messi (@leomessi)

Followers: 277 million

Who could have guessed one of Ronaldo’s biggest rivals in the sport would also turn out to be one of his biggest on the ‘Gram? Another entry in football’s G.O.A.T. conversation, the Argentine forward has proven himself equally adept at the social media game.

5. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (@therock)

Followers: 275 million

Former WWE heavyweight champion. Current movie star and tequila mogul. Future U.S. President? It’s hard to bet against The Rock, who has built his ever-increasing following with a candid look inside his life and an endless supply of workout and lifestyle motivation.

6. Ariana Grande (@arianagrande)

Followers: 272 million

Just a few million behind The Rock, the Grammy-winning singer and coach on The Voice has had an eventful few years that have kept people following. Grande became the most followed musician on the platform in 2019, and with a feed filled with teasers of what’s to come (and the occasional look back at what got her there), she doesn’t appear to be giving up that title any time soon.

7. Selena Gomez (@selenagomez)

Followers: 269 million

Selena Gomez has been in the spotlight her entire life, and social media era has been no exception. In addition to magazine shoots, plandids and candids, Gomez uses her platform to talk about mental health, citing her own ups and downs and encouraging followers to educate themselves on the importance of mental fitness.

8. Kim Kardashian (@kimkardashian)

Followers: 260 million

One of the most famous and recognisable faces in the world, it’s no surprise that Kim Kardashian makes the top ten. While Keeping Up with the Kardashians may have said farewell after 20 seasons, Kim continues to stay in the headlines, with no sign of slowing down. And with a new Kardashian-Jenner Hulu show in the works, it likely won’t be long until she’s back on our screens once again.

9. Beyoncé Knowles (@beyonce)

Followers: 215 million

There will only ever be one Beyoncé. The singer-actress-songwriter-producer-dancer-businesswoman-director-and-more changed the way artists release albums forever with Lemonade, and has found a way to toe the line between larger-than-life superstardom while still giving us the occasional intimate glimpse into her and husband Jay-Z’s world through social media.

10. Justin Bieber (@justinbieber)

Followers: 201 million

Rounding out the top ten — who else but Bieber? The original social media darling, Justin Bieber came into our lives through YouTube, and he’s remained a part of it ever since. And “Baby“, it’s worth noting, remains a bop.

Lead photo: AFP

Nathan Erickson
Made in Seoul and based in Hong Kong, Nathan has covered food, fashion and music from New York to Paris to Oaxaca. He enjoys street photography, buying too many hooded sweatshirts and he'll never turn down a tequila soda. Catch him on weekends hiking trails all over Hong Kong in hopes of finding his idol, Chow Yun-fat.