From Cristiano Ronaldo to Selena Gomez, two Kardashians and a Jenner, these are the most-followed Instagram accounts in the world.
Instagram has come a long way since it launched back in 2010. Once a simple photo sharing app, the ‘Gram has evolved into many things: a way to keep in touch with old friends; a place to start new flings; a portfolio for creatives of all kinds to showcase their work; a battleground for social justice; a shopping and e-commerce platform; a gallery of whatever NFTs are. Ultimately, Instagram has become a mirror into what we care about, which we’re reminded of every time we log in by the all-seeing Algorithm™.
The app has even helped to create a new kind of celebrity. Instagram influencers have changed the way we scroll, the way we get entertained — even the way brands sell things to us. However, when it comes to the biggest names on Instagram, we see some fairly usual suspects. For instance, Cristiano Ronaldo recently became the first human to break the 500 million mark, with Lionel Messi not far behind. Furthermore, Instagram’s own profile amassed half a billion, pop stars continued trading places and yet another Kardashian entered the top ten.
For your benefit, we’ve rounded up the 20 most-followed Instagram accounts in the world. They’re the ones that keep us logging in and coming back for more. And while you’re here, drop a follow for Lifestyle Asia — every follow counts, right?
The most-followed Instagram accounts in the world in 2023:
1. Instagram (@instagram)
Followers: 638 million
Instagram has the most-followed account of them all, boasting over 500 million followers. Of its 7,000+ posts, many feature popular, creative or attention-worthy creators, like @sharawangsamulia (above), Insta-famous mini-pig Pua and global superstar model and actress of Squid Game fame, Hoyeon Jung. Even virtual influencers, like imma (@imma.gram) get some shine.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)
Followers: 586 million
Just look how happy he is. But you would be, too, if you were Cristiano Ronaldo. And even moreso if you were Cristiano Ronaldo and you became the only human to break 500 million followers on Instagram. To put that into scale, if CR7’s ‘Gram were a country, it would be the third most populated in the world after China and India, and just ahead of the United States. Another day, another goal for Ronaldo.
3. Lionel Messi (@leomessi)
Followers: 464 million
From Ronaldo’s rival on the pitch to Ronaldo’s rival on the ‘Gram. The Argentine footballer has proven himself quite adept at social media as well, chasing Cristiano Ronaldo now for the #2 spot.
4. Selena Gomez (@selenagomez)
Followers: 418 million
While Selena Gomez has been open about avoiding social media, she has been the fastest climber on the list as of late. Her shoots, plandids and candids make excellent content for her feed, while Gomez uses her platform for good, talking openly about mental health and encouraging followers to educate themselves on the importance of mental fitness.
5. Kylie Jenner (@kyliejenner)
Followers: 391 million
Kylie Jenner became the first woman to break 300 million followers on Instagram. However, that probably pales in comparison to being named the youngest “self-made” billionaire in 2019 by Forbes. But Jenner — of Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Skin, Kylie Swim, Kylie Baby and more — continues on. In conclusion, don’t get too comfy, Ronaldo. The race to 500 million is on.
6. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (@therock)
Followers: 381 million
He’s the People’s Champ; what did you expect? The number six spot goes to Hollywood movie star, tequila mogul, future presidential candidate (?) and former WWE champ, The Rock. He has built his ever-increasing following with a highly motivating feed of life and workout inspiration, plus the occasional tequila shot.
7. Ariana Grande (@arianagrande)
Followers: 371 million
Ariana Grande has given her fans plenty of reason to follow along in recent years. With a feed filled with teasers of what she’s got in the works, plus glimpses into her personal life, there’s plenty more to expect from this star.
8. Kim Kardashian (@kimkardashian)
Followers: 357 million
Controlling the spotlight in everything she does, it’s no surprise to see Kim Kardashian in the top ten. Although KUWTK finished its culture-shifting run, the premiere of The Kardashians means we’ll still be seeing plenty of Kim on all of our screens.
9. Beyoncé Knowles (@beyonce)
Followers: 309 million
Hey, Ms. Carter. There will only ever be one Beyoncé. The ultimate multi-hyphenate changed the way artists release music forever with Lemonade, and Queen Bey has found a way to toe the line between larger-than-life superstardom while still giving us the occasional intimate glimpse into her and her family’s world through social media.
10. Khloe Kardashian (@khloekardashian)
Followers: 307 million
Welcome, Khloe. Naturally, it took a Kardashian to finally bump the OG social media star Justin Bieber from his Top 10 spot. And with 249 million followers on the most followed Instagram accounts list — Kendall isn’t far behind.
11. Nike (@nike)
Followers: 294 million
Being the second-largest corporate account after Instagram’s in-house account, Nike is a masterclass in running a successful performance. With high-quality posts and a strong theme, the brand overtook former runner-up National Geographic. This has made Nike the world’s eleventh most popular Instagram account, beating celebrities like Khloe Kardashian and Miley Cyrus.
12. Justin Bieber (@justinbieber)
Followers: 290 million
It has been almost two decades since Justin Bieber debuted, and fans and followers still flock to him in droves. Bieber, who rose to fame with his 2009 debut EP My World, has no signs of slowing down. Instead, the singer has gone from strength to strength, releasing many studio albums, winning two Grammy awards, 26 Billboard Music Awards, and 23 Teen Choice Awards.
His Instagram feed is a mix of snapshots of him recording music, his married life with Hailey Baldwin Bieber, shoutouts to his native Canada and stream-of-consciousness musings on spirituality. His genuine, self-confident approach to social media is hugely refreshing after his tumultuous teen years.
13. Kendall Jenner (@kendalljenner)
Followers: 289 million
The reality TV star and model Kendall Jenner is social media’s most popular model. And that’s not the only nod Jenner received. She’s also the most ‘buzzed about’ model, which means she garnered the highest number of mentions or tags in captions and comments.
Kendall not only has a large fanbase from the show, but she has also landed campaigns for Givenchy and Balmain while becoming the face of Estée Lauder. To her credit, though, Kendall has mastered the art of ad posts that double as posts you genuinely want to double-tap.
14. National Geographic (@natgeo)
Followers: 277 million
National Geographic is celebrating a milestone with over 250 million followers on Instagram. Nat Geo’s Instagram’s creative control is mainly in the hands of the contributing photographers who share the rare and incredible sights they encounter daily. The stunning images paired with photographers’ captions bring authenticity to the account. National Geographic has set a bar for visual storytelling that brings the world closer together.
15. Taylor Swift (@taylorswift)
Followers: 260 million
If you doubt Taylor Swift’s world domination, prepare to shake it off. The international pop star, who’s in the business of breaking records, has cemented that top tier’ gram status with over 260 million followers. However, Swift’s secret may be a blend of adorable cat photos, her sweater selfies, and shots of her super-famous squad.
Swift’s grid has major artistic vibes, with lots of vintage photos. She’s also a master of posting concert shots, campaign photos, and music video promos.
16. Virat Kohli (@virat.kohli)
Followers: 250 million
Virat Kohli has created history again by becoming the first Indian to achieve 250 million followers on Instagram. With this feat, he becomes the third sportsperson with the most followers on Instagram, behind footballing legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. In addition, the cricketer keeps fans up to date on his workout routine, which is a huge draw.
The former captain of the Indian cricket team not only led India to many victories over the years but also built a successful brand with multi-million-dollar endorsement deals.
17. Jennifer Lopez (@jlo)
Followers: 246 million
We’ve said it before, and we’ll repeat it: All hail Queen J Lo! With a career spanning more than two decades, J.Lo is the GOAT. The Jenny from the Block singer has repeatedly proved why she’s a role model to millions, and the 245 million followers on social media are proof. J.Lo often treats her fans with her drool-worthy vacation pictures and gives insights into her wellness routine. We surely can’t get enough of the megastar.
18. Kourtney Kardashian Barker (@kourtneykardarsh)
Followers: 221 million
When it comes to social media, no family has cultivated a following quite as large as the Kardashians. The Kardashians have amassed over a billion Instagram followers, so it is no wonder that Kourtney ranks in the top 20 of the most-followed Instagram accounts worldwide. The mother of three and oldest Kardashian always looks luxe AF. Kourtney’s feed embodies the “Instagram” lifestyle, complete with pools, mansions, private jets, and Birkins than you’ve seen in your life.
19. Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj)
Followers: 220 million
Three words: Nicki freakin’ Minaj. The rapper is already a hip-hop icon, but her incredible Instagram achievement only adds to her legendary status.
Minaj has used social media to her advantage throughout her career — especially Instagram. Take the iconic single artwork for her Billboard Hot 100 No. 2 hit “Anaconda,” or the bootylicious cover that instantly became a viral meme on the platform.
20. Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus)
Followers: 208 million
Miley Cyrus could be called the queen of reinvention. From “Hannah Montana” Disney star and “Bangerz” wild child to “Malibu” romantic and a millennial rock rebel, Cyrus is the perfect example of an ever-evolving artist. The renowned American singer-songwriter has won the hearts of millions of fans not only with her numbers, but her trendy fashion and style and her Instagram is proof! Her feed is pure aspiration, filled with photo shots and celeb hangouts.
While you’re here, check out the most liked Instagram posts of all time.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Instagram, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylie Jenner, Lionel Messi, Selena Gomez, The Rock, Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Khloe Kardashian
Answer: Instagram's official account, with over 600 million followers.