From Kylie to Kim, from Cristiano to Ariana, these are the most followed Instagram accounts by the app’s “roughly one billion” monthly active users.
As we come around to the end of the year, we take this opportunity to reflect back on the truly important things that occurred over the last 12 months: Memories shared with friends and family. Time spent doing what we love. And, naturally, who gained the most followers on Instagram. The answer? The app, of course, as well as a crew of usual suspects.
Instagram has made addicts of us all since the moment it launched as a photo-sharing app back in 2010. Throughout the decade since, that app has evolved into many things: a place to keep up with the lives of old friends (or new lovers); a portfolio for the creative industry; a front line for battles over social justice; an online marketplace; a place to convince you why NFTs aren’t something you can just right-click, actually; and ultimately, a mirror into what we care about — whether we admit or not — carefully vetted and fed back to us by the all-seeing Algorithm™.
Here at the close of 2021, we’ve rounded up the top 10 most-followed Instagram accounts in the world — the ones that seemingly keep us logging in and coming back for more. And hey, while you’re at it, drop a follow for @prestigehk. We hear they do great Instagram giveaways.
The most followed Instagram accounts in the world, as of June 2022:
1. Instagram (@instagram)
Followers: 516 million
For whatever reason, Instagram’s official account is the most-followed on the entire platform, boasting a total of 450 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 actress Rachel Zegler, Insta-famous mini-pig Pua or Lisa of BLACKPINK herself.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)
Followers: 500 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 400 million followers on the platform, he just crossed the 500 million mark and is gunning to top this list soon!
3. Kylie Jenner (@kyliejenner)
Followers: 345 million
Despite just falling behind Leo Messi in the most followed category, things are still going plenty well for the woman behind Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Skin, Kylie Swim, Kylie Baby and more. She’s also still the most-followed woman in the world, so don’t get too comfortable, boys. The race to 500 million is on.
4. Lionel Messi (@leomessi)
Followers: 335 million
As one of Ronaldo’s biggest rivals in the football would, it only makes sense we’d see him as one of CR7’s biggest on the ‘Gram, as well. Another entry in football’s G.O.A.T. conversation, the Argentine forward has proven himself equally adept at the social media game, just edging out Kylie Jenner from the #3 spot at year’s end — and continuing that climb quickly.
5. Selena Gomez (@selenagomez)
Followers: 325 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.
6. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (@therock)
Followers: 320 million
The People’s Champ. Hollywood movie star and tequila mogul. Future presidential candidate? Never count out 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.
7. Kim Kardashian (@kimkardashian)
Followers: 316 million
One of the most famous faces in the world, it’s no surprise to see Kim Kardashian in 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.
8. Ariana Grande (@arianagrande)
Followers: 315 million
After just surpassing The Rock himself, 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.
9. Beyoncé Knowles (@beyonce)
Followers: 261 million
Queen Bey! 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.Khloe Kardashian (@khloekardashian)
Followers: 249 million
Bye, bye Bieber. The original social media superstar has finally been unseated from the top ten by — who else? — a Kardashian. Khloe joins Kim and Kylie on the list just in time for the premiere of The Kardashians on Disney+ this April. And at 222 million followers on most followed Instagram accounts — Kendall isn’t far behind.
While you’re here, check out the most liked Instagram posts of all time.