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 min read

The most followed Instagram profiles

Selena Gomez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Charli d'Amelio... Who is the most popular on Instagram in 2022?

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Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. Since its creation in 2010, Instagram has revolutionized the world of social networks, especially within the influencer marketing industry. Influencer collabs grew with the development of Instagram, which is now the most frequently used platform for partnerships as of today. The network provides all services, communication channels and formats necessary for a brand to advertise their products and services.

Moreover as Instagram is one of the most used social media in 2022, it counts more than one billion monthly active users. It goes without saying that within this massive community, any brand can find their target market and niche audience. In this article we will address the success points of this platform, the five most followed Instagram influencers, and finally we will make a focus on partnerships, collaborations and influencers. 

Instagram is the place for partnerships

Instagram is a safe bet when it comes to influencer marketing. It is the most commonplace to do influencer collabs. After all, Instagram has been one of the main actors in developing influencer marketing. People are used to seeing paid partnerships on this platform, whereas on TikTok or Twitter, it is always a bit more odd, even though TikTok collabs have significantly been increasing these past few months. There are more and more paid partnerships on TikTok, but Instagram remains the most popular platform. 

On TikTok, it is hard to forecast how well a partnership will perform due to the complexity, and volatility of its aleatory algorithm. Someone with almost no followers can easily get millions of views on one video, on the other hand, you can have thousands of followers and still get very few views. A few weeks ago, we talked about a TikToker with 12k followers who went viral with her collab, gathering 12.9M views. Indeed, the brand was very pleased with this collaboration, but it can be disappointing for brands when it's the other way around. So in that sense, TikTok is not the most reliable social media platform. 

On Instagram, it is easier to determine how well a collab will perform based on different key performance indicators such as the number of followers, the engagement rate, the saturation rate, etc. Moreover, on Favikon, you can access each one of these influencers' stats, and that's not it! You can also see an estimation of the advertising performance (ad efficiency, cost per engagement, and giveaway score). The main difference between Instagram and TikTok is that an Instagram influencer's account will grow exponentially. Their content must be coherent, visually pleasing, and consistent. In contrast to a TikToker being able to gain thousands of followers thanks to a single video that went viral, an Instagrammer must work in the long run to build a solid community. 

Careful! This doesn't mean that partnering with an Instagram influencer who has a large following will automatically result in a successful collab. As growing an Instagram community needs hard work and a specific strategy, some influencers take the shortcut and buy followers. Working with an influencer with a suspicious audience will lead to the biggest fail of all time. That's why you can check the authenticity of an influencer's audience on Favikon! (yup, we got your back)

The most followed Instagram profiles

I bet you are dying to know who the most followed Instagram profiles are. With more than 300M followers, these influencers are no joke. 

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo 

Yes, the most followed Instagram profile is none other than Cristiano Ronaldo. On top of being one of the best football players, he is also killing it on Instagram! He currently has 440.8M followers. You could think that with this massive community, his social media stats wouldn't be as impressive, but it's the opposite! Crisitano has a perfect Favikon score of 5/5, an excellent engagement rate of 2.20%, and a remarkable account growth rate of 3.60%. He is pretty regular with his posts. He mainly posts about football, but he also likes to share moments with his family and friends. 

Cristiano Ronaldo Instagram

  1. Kylie Jenner

In the second position is Kylie Jenner, with 336.8M followers on Instagram. Kylie surely knows how to keep her audience entertained with her perfect pictures and incredible life. She has an excellent engagement rate of 1.76% and an astonishing account growth of 2.90%. Kylie likes to share different aspects of her life, such as moments with her family, new makeup collections, or photoshoot pictures. 

Kylie Jenner Instagram

  1. Lionel Messi

Another football player! Lionel Messi currently has 326.3M followers. He also has an excellent account growth of 2.40% and a good audience quality. He is pretty active on the platform, alternating between professional pictures and pictures with his family. He has also been posting a few Reels recently. 

Lionel Messi Instagram

  1. Selena Gomez

We've got the beautiful and bubbly Selena Gomez in the fourth position! She has 318.9M followers on Instagram and an incredible account growth of 2.40%. She likes to share pictures and videos of her daily life and current and upcoming projects. As a founder of a cosmetics company, an actress, and a singer, Selena keeps herself busy, yet her Instagram feed is always on point. 

Selena Gomez Instagram

  1. The Rock - Dwayne Johnson 

The Rock, also known as Dwayne Johnson, has more than 315M followers on Instagram. He has excellent account growth and outstanding audience quality. He shares many pictures and videos of him working out and sweating at the gym on his account. Dwayne probably knows pretty well how the Instagram algorithm works, as he published a lot of Reels. 

The Rock Instagram

Mega influencers and collaborations 

Since they are the most followed Instagram profiles, it makes sense that many brands are interested in collaborating with them. But which brands are they most likely to work with? What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with mega influencers? Always keep in mind that there is a perfect influencer for every brand, but contacting a mega influencer isn’t a standard strategy. Every brand has a specific objective with even more specific needs and requirements which not all influencer tiers can reach. So let’s see which type of brands are the most adequate to work with mega influencers’ cream of the crop.

Which brands? 

Mega influencers have a notoriety and influence that indeed attracts a lot of brands. There is no doubt that these influencers get a lot of collaboration offers. Unfortunately, they cannot work with all of them. So which brands are more likely to work with them? Considering they are the biggest influencers on Instagram, they mainly collaborate with high-end brands or internationally popular brands. 

For instance, Selena Gomez recently collaborated with Our Place, a company that sells cutlery and cooking tools. She has also worked with Serendipity 3, a famous NYC restaurant. Lionel Messi has collaborated with Visit Saudi, Hard Rock Cafe, and even Lay's!

Why work with these influencers? 

For brands, working with these influencers is a big deal! Thanks to their high number of followers, brands can be sure that these influencers will bring them a lot of visibility. On top of that, many of these influencers are also singers, footballers, actors, etc., so they are known pretty well by the general public. Being associated with celebrities like them can positively impact the brand's image and increase sales. 

However, it is essential to qualify our remarks. There are also sometimes downsides to working with mega influencers. Because they have a high number of followers, their community is very heterogeneous, meaning that it is harder for brands to target one precise audience. Moreover, they are less likely to be close to their community. Obviously, someone with millions of followers won't be able to answer everyone's comments or messages. This can sometimes affect the influencer's engagement rate. People are less likely to comment or even like content from someone they don't feel close to. 

Many of the most followed Instagram profiles are also celebrities or professional athletes, making sense as they have a worldwide audience. They get many collabs offers because working with them means having an incredible visibility boost for brands. However, brands have to be careful if their goal is to increase sales because having a high number of followers doesn't always equal having a high engagement rate. 

Time for a recap!

The advantages of working with mega influencers:

  • They have a massive audience: collaborating with a mega influencer means reaching millions of users.
  • Their image is their reputation: when working with a mega influencer, you associate your brand image with theirs, so be sure to choose wisely.
  • They are professional influencers: no need to tell them how to make a photoshoot. They most likely have already collaborated with luxury labels and know how to do the work.
  • They are the stars of social media: when I say social media star, you say? Fans! If Kylie Jenner partners with a new brand, you can be sure that your sales will go through the roof, and all beauty influencers will review the advertised product on their accounts.

Any challenges of working with a mega influencer?

  • They are EXPENSIVE! If you plan to work with Cristiano Ronaldo, you better take your gold credit card out. Collaborating with a mega influencer means paying thousands, even millions, for a single post.
  • A broad audience: having a massive community means having numerous niche audiences. Thus if you’re a famous brand, any niche audience can be interested. However, if your brand is young and has a specific target market, targeting a massive audience isn’t the most efficient solution.
  • Don’t drown in an ocean of collabs. Thousands of brands target mega influencers. Working with them means appearing on a crowded feed, so don’t forget to check if your competitors have already made it to their feed.