The Top 30 Instagram Influencers To Follow In 2021

The Top 35 Instagram Influencers To Follow In 2024

So who exactly are the top Instagram influencers today? And what can we learn from them?

There’s no question that being an influencer can be very competitive, especially in popular niches. Fortunately, both marketers and influencers alike can learn from the big names among social media influencers. In fact, careful study helps reveal why they are so successful. Marketers can use this information to help them decide which less-famous influencers are likely to have a big impact. Likewise, influencers can learn how to be better at what they do. For both sides, Instagram’s mega influencers are great role models in the marketing industry in this Age of Influence.

There can never be one definitive list of top Instagram influencers, so I focused on those that seem to be picked up more often for an influencer marketing campaign than others in the media or blogosphere, as well as those that I know from word of mouth in marketing circles.

Note that these top Instagram influencers are not traditional celebrities. If you look at many lists of top influencers, they will include famous sports athletes, musicians, or television and media personalities, such as:

I am focused on those influencers who primarily derive their influence from social media channels, and not traditional media, although many have now become bonafide media celebrities.

There are also no top business influencers from Instagram in this list. All forms of marketing and business education are popular but separate types of content. So these influencers engage their audience in quite specific ways and this will be the topic of a separate blog post sometime in the future… 

Now, let’s take a look at some of these influencers. And if your favorite influencer is missing, please drop a comment below! Thanks!

Beauty Influencers

The beauty industry as a whole is very diverse. People of all cultures have different ideas about what is beautiful. In addition, different skin and hair types, as well as diverse coloring, influence what beauty products do well on which people. Add to this the role of personal preferences, and you have lots of room for differences, from makeup tutorials, to hair tutorials, skincare, and more. There’s a lot to learn from top influencers about how to be successful.

Huda Kattan (50.7 million followers)

Huda Kattan Instagram beauty influencer

Huda didn’t start out as JUST an Instagrammer. Rather, she is a makeup artist and blogger, positioning her as a subject matter expert. She is also known for her exotic beauty, derived from her Iraqi heritage. After college, she started a beauty blog, which then developed into an Instagram account and makeup line.  She has also worked as a celebrity makeup artist and stylist for Revlon.

James Charles (22.8 million followers)

james charles instagram beauty influencer

Sometimes controversial and often imitated, James Charles was the first male spokesmodel for CoverGirl. His Instagram account features a lot of makeup done in vibrant colors: among his specialties is eye shadow done in different colors on each eye. The biggest thing that sets James Charles apart is his ability to exude confidence while not taking himself too seriously.

Manny Gutierrez (4.0 million followers)

manny gutierrez instagram beauty influencer

Like James Charles, Manny is known for being fearless. Having been a brand ambassador for Maybelline, he has started a makeup line called Lunar Beauty. On his Instagram, however, Gutierrez talks about more than just makeup, touching on issues relevant to the gay community.

Jeffree Star (13.8 million followers)

jeffree start instagram beauty influencer

Jeffree Star is another beauty influencer whose rise to fame has had some bumps and hurdles, but no small amount of influence and notoriety. Star is primarily known for his YouTube channel, but has a substantial following on Instagram and other social channels like TikTok, as well. Star’s influence is such that he has his own makeup line (titled Jeffree Star Cosmetics), and is among the most wealthy beauty influencers out there. 

Fashion & Style Influencers

Another competitive niche, fashion and style influencers are very diverse. With a wide variety of backgrounds and personal brands, these influencers have a lot to teach us, from the next best fashion designer emerging on the scene, to the best way to dress for your shape.

Chiara Ferragni (27.5 million followers)

chiara fearagni instagram fashion influencer

Ferragni is known for having started out with an award-winning fashion blog. Like many mega-influencers, she has her own fashion house, including shoes and apparel. On her Instagram, Ferragni talks about her family and even posted ultrasound pictures recently. In other words, she shows how women can be both beautiful and a working mom.

Alexa Chung (5.3 million followers)

alexa chung instagram fashion influencer

Chung is a multiracial British fashion model. Later on, she started a blog and then launched a fashion line. Besides having her own label, Chung still works as a model in the British fashion industry. She is a quintessential career woman and her social platforms are geared toward women, but she still has time to post vacation pictures on Instagram and maintain a relatable personality.

Mariano di Vaio (6.8 million followers)

Mariano Di Vaio instagram fashion influencer

An Italian actor and model, di Vaio has been brand ambassador for several major fashion houses. He is also a family man, showing off his wife and children on Instagram. An added part of his niche is adding inspirational captions on his post, making the account an uplifting place to stop by.

Julia Berolzheimer (1.3 million followers)

Julia Berolzheimer instagram fashion influencer

Julia is a family-oriented fashion influencer. On her account, she shows off her family and the fun to be had with holiday decorations. She did start a fashion brand, but this failed due to the pandemic. Nonetheless, like more well-known celebrities like Kim Kardashian, she shows that you can be a fashion icon and a mom at the same time.

Aimee Song (6.6 million followers)

Aimee Song instagram fashion influencer

Song is an NY Times bestselling author of Korean descent. She has served as brand ambassador for several major fashion brands, and does some designing of her own. Like other influencers in this niche, she shows off her family on Instagram.

Gigi Hadid (74.9 million followers)

Gigi Hadid instagram fashion influencer

Like other fashion influencers, Hadid has a career as a fashion model. In her case, she started work as a child and is recognized for her exotic appearance. During the pandemic, she got pregnant and has been showing off her baby bump. Hadid is also known for promoting social justice causes.

Bella Hadid (50.4 million followers)

bella hadid instagram fashion influencer

Sister to Gigi, Bella was named the 2016 Model of the Year. As such, she has worked for many high fashion brands such as Chanel, Tommy Hilfiger and Miu Miu. Bella is also known for liking horses and getting involved in political action.

Sommer Ray (26.7 million followers)

sommer ray instagram fashion influencer

Sommer is a well-known model under 30 from Colorado. Besides modeling for other brands, she has an activewear label of her own. Her Instagram has an inspirational feel and is geared towards women.

Barbara Palvin (17.4 million followers)

Barbara Palvin instagram fashion influencer

Barbara is a model best known for being a Victoria’s Secret Angel. In addition, she works for Amazon Fashion and has done a few acting gigs. Unlike some other influencers, she does not have her own fashion label. In addition, she does some beauty-related posts.

Camila Coelho (9.8 million followers)

Camila Coelho instagram fashion influencer

Camila Coelho is a fashion influencer among those mega – influencers with her own line of clothing. With pieces that focus on a coastal and mediterranean feel, Coelho’s fashion branding has focused largely on keeping close to her standard images of bronzed skin, sun, and beautiful beaches, all of which suggest that her clothing is best worn to enjoy sun, warmth, and relaxation. She also lets her target audience in on her family life, sharing her journey toward starting her family.

Food Influencers

Food is arguably one of the oldest niches for influencers. This is not surprising, because food-related blogs and newspaper columns have been around for a long time. In addition, there is significant competition in some parts of the food industry. Throw in special needs diets and certain types of cuisine, and you have quite a diverse topic with an extremely engaged audience.

Jamie Oliver (9.1 million followers)

jamie oliver instagram food influencer

Jamie is a British professional chef and TV personality. He shares pictures of recipes and promotes healthy, locally-produced food. Other snaps feature Oliver teaching his children how to cook. This family and healthy living focus has a wide appeal and contributes to his popularity. Finally, he once owned a restaurant chain before it went bankrupt in 2019.

David Chang (1.7 million followers)

david chang instagram food influencer

David is a Korean-American chef and author. He has a small chain of restaurants, some of which are in Asia. In addition, he sells a line of cooking tools and packaged goods. Chang uses his Instagram to show off recipes and, like many other social media stars who have monetized their Instagram account, promote his products.

Salt Bae (43.3 million followers)

salt bae instagram food influencer

Salt Bae is the nickname of a Turkish butcher and restaurateur. He has a famous luxury steakhouse in the Boston area, and is known for his meat seasoning techniques. On Instagram, he shows off his techniques and also posts lifestyle photos.

Lifestyle Influencers

Admittedly, the “lifestyle” niche is relatively broad. However, what sets it apart is the willingness of influencers to share their entire lives with people on social media. This is analogous to being a personality or public figure. Because of this, you’ll see them partner with a wide variety of brands.

Joanna Gaines (13.5 million followers)

joanna gaines instagram lifestyle influencer

Joanna is a family woman who owns two stores in Waco, Texas. The stores sell a wide variety of gift, home décor, and fashion items. She has also written a book. Joanna shares her family on Instagram, and shows off her cooking and garden.

Rosanna Pansino (4.3 million followers)

rosanna pansino instagram lifestyle influencer

Like some other lifestyle influencers, Rosanna has more than one platform where she is famous. In fact, her YouTube channel is famous. There, she does a lot of recipe tutorials. Other topics include pets (she’s a dog lover), fashion, fitness, and her wedding.

Lilly Singh (11.1 million followers)

lilly singh instagram lifestyle influencer

Lilly is a Bollywood actress who was able to make it in Hollywood. An author and YouTuber, she shows off her acting. In addition, Lilly showcases Indian culture, her sense of style, and thoughts about being the daughter of immigrants. Finally, she has written a book and sells merchandise.

Carlinhos Maia (24.7 million followers)

Carlinhos Maia instagram lifestyle influencer

Carlinhos is an LGBTQIA+ Brazilian man who loves to travel. Besides travel pictures, he shows off his cooking skills, TV appearances, and time spent with his significant other. Finally, he is involved in social justice projects in his native land.

Photography Influencers

Since Instagram is a photography-focused social network, it’s almost surprising that there aren’t more photography influencers on this list. However, it is probably indicative of the subject matter choices for most Instagrammers.

Murad Osmann (3.6 million followers)

murad osmann instagram photography influencer

Murad is a professional photographer from Dagestan, Russia. With the famous FollowMeTo series, he distinguished himself as a travel-themed photographer. For that reason, he and his wife Nataly are also considered travel influencers. His pictures are absolutely breathtaking.

Fitness Influencers

Here’s a popular topic for a lot of people who want to keep in shape. In addition, fitness personalities tend to have a large following. Instagram influencers are no exception to this rule.

Kayla Itsines (14.8 million followers)

Kayla Itsines Instagram fitness influencer

Kayla is an Australian personal trainer and developer of a zero-equipment fitness program. She also has a pregnancy fitness program. Besides fitness tips, Kayla talks about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Finally, she talks about the importance of taking care of yourself and having a support system. Being a woman in a very male-dominated profession is inspiring to many.

Simeon Panda (8.1 million followers)

simeon panda instagram fitness infuencer

Simeon is a world-renowned fitness expert and body builder. He loves to show pictures of himself working out and showcasing his muscles. Simeon has won bodybuilding titles. In addition, he collaborates with fitness supplement makers. Besides this, he has a fitness clothing brand.

Emily Skye (2.7 million followers)

emily skyes instagram fitness infuencer

Although Emily Skye is considered a fitness influencer, she actually dips her toes into several different “pools”. She posts a great deal about her family in addition to posting about fitness, and is the owner of a line of eye masks. Emily Skye’s appeal is largely focused on her ability to encourage people of all sizes and fitness levels. She shows images of her own dramatic transformations, having closely followed the lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise habits she promotes across her social media channels. 

Travel Influencers

While this year has been awful for traveling, that doesn’t mean we won’t be able to do it again. In fact, people enjoy seeing new places and things. Even if we can’t do it ourselves, we enjoy watching other people have fun. To that end, many people follow travel influencers.

Jack Morris (2.5 million followers)

jack morris @doyoutravel instagram travel influencer

Jack, known on Instagram as @DoYouTravel, and his wife love to travel to exotic places, and they take stunning pictures. Recent destinations include Egypt, Indonesia, and Abu Dhabi. As an influencer, he works with different brands in the hospitality industry, both here and abroad. In addition, you’ll see him promote items like drones that can take pictures.


Here, I am referring to people who started out on TikTok, or who became famous there at some point. Their Instagram following is in addition to their TikTok influencer marketing activities.

Addison Rae (40.3 million followers)

Addison Rae TikToker

Addison is best known for her TikTok dance videos but has a strong following on Instagram. Besides this, she has a podcast with her mother. Addison has appeared on the Ellen show, and is known on Instagram for her fashion and beauty-themed pictures. Some of her collabs include Aeropostale and Disney, so she’s a big deal in the industry.

Charli d’Amelio (47.7 million followers)

Charli d'Amelio TikToker

Charli is a now 18-year-old (she became famous at 16…) dance sensation. She has appeared in commercials, one of which was shown during the Super Bowl. Like Addison, Charli has connections to Disney. Recent collaborations include the clothing brand Hollister.


As with TikTok, YouTube has spawned a lot of famous Instagram personalities from YouTube influencer marketing, and some of these YouTubers actually started their journey to fame on the now defunct Vine platform. This isn’t surprising, given that all three social media networks are highly visual. In addition, the release of IGTV encouraged people to post video on both platforms.

Zach King (24.6 million followers)

Zach King Youtuber

Pewdiepie (21.8 million followers)

pewdiepie youtuber

Pewdiepie is one of the most famous YouTubers of all time. A Swedish gamer and comedian, Pewdiepie got famous by reviewing video games. On his Instagram, he does a lot of lifestyle posts, including several with his wife. Many of his recent posts show a sense of humor about current events, including shots where he’s wearing a mask. In short, his Instagram magic comes from making people laugh. The gaming stuff stays on YouTube.

David Dobrik (12.3 million followers)

David Dobrik YouTuber

David is known for his vlog on YouTube, which features all kinds of silly pranks and inside jokes. In addition, he’s an animal lover and plays this to the hilt. Hop over to his Instagram, and you’ll see David not taking himself too seriously. However, that isn’t to say he doesn’t do serious things like collaborate with brands or appear on late night television.

AuronPlay (17.5 million followers)

AuronPlay YouTuber influencer

Also known as Raul Genes, AuronPlay is a Spanish YouTuber and Instagram personality. He is known on YouTube for his satire and commentary on current events or other people’s content. On Instagram, he showcases his sense of humor. In addition, AuronPlay does a lot of branded content for food and similar products.

Ajey Nagar (14.9 million followers)

Ajey Nager Youtuber on Instagram

Known on Instagram as @carryminati, Ajey has two channels on YouTube in addition to his Instagram account. One YT channel shows off his sense of humor while he comments on current events and celebrities. Hailing from India, Ajey is primarily an internet personality without another career. His channels are in Hindi. On Instagram, most of the pictures are various selfies and advertisements for appearances in real life.

Cameron Dallas (23.8 million followers)

cameron dallas Youtuber on Instagram

Cameron Dallas may have started out on YouTube, but has since made a name for himself as the co-founder and co-creator of Fan Fix, a subscription platform similar to Patreon. Dallas has expanded his reach, growing from a singular focus on YouTube to acting and musical pursuits. It is his charismatic personality and musical acumen that has many of his followers eager to continue following along with his pursuits. 

Lele Pons (48.9 million followers)

lele pons Youtuber on Instagram

Like Cameron Dallas, Lele Pons has grown from a YouTube personality to an actress and singer. Most recently, Pons’ YouTube pursuits have combined simple YouTube personality videos with a more fleshed-out series called Exposure, wherein content creators compete to become the next internet sensation, in the vein of shows such as American Idol. Pons’ substantial following is likely due in part to her engaging personality and sense of humor, both of which are consistently displayed throughout her videos. 

Instagram is the favorite social media platform for influencers. And, as a result, it is important for marketers to know who is who in terms of the top Instagram influencers order to market successfully and identify influencers most likely to successfully partner with their brand. This is true both in terms of finding people to work with and predicting who might be successful. At the same time, up and coming or aspiring influencers do well to study people like this so they can better understand what NOT to do on Instagram. Not only does it help them know what kind of content succeeds, as well as the best times to post for maximum engagement, but also provides insights into personal branding.

So who’d I miss on the Instagram influencer marketing scene? Who should I consider in my next list revision? Please let me know!

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

Articles: 436


  1. Hello Neal,
    Thank you for everything you do.
    I have been looking for an influencer to promote my son’s book.
    My son David had a traumatic event take place in 2021 when his girlfriend hanged herself.
    She had two kids. He had spoken to her a few hours earlier on the phone and she seemed ok.

    Immediately following the incident, he was placed on suicide watch.
    He was diagnosed with PTSD, dissociative identity disorder and depression.
    The simplest of tasks became monumental for him to perform.

    After about 4 months, he asked for a pen and some paper.
    He started writing down random thoughts, then he decided to create writings about his girlfriend.
    Finally, he used his creativity to write about some characters that he had conjured up in his head following this ordeal.

    What started as a short story soon morphed into a novella and now is a short novel.
    The beautiful thing about his book is that as you approach the ending, everything makes sense, and a very powerful, positive message is sent to the reader.

    I believe his book can help those suffering from mental illness.
    Every family that has a member with mental illness needs to read this book.

    The book is available on Amazon and I have also built a website dedicated to my son’s book (zylomoon dot com)

    “Behind the Eyes of Zylo Moon” was launched, published, and approved earlier this week.
    I need to find influencers because this is an important book, which can help many.

    Any thoughts or ideas are greatly appreciated.
    Kind regards,

    • Hey Chuck, nice to hear from you my friend but so sorry to hear about that traumatic event.

      The only way to find influencers for a cause like this is to find influencers who talk about mental health or suicide – I am sure they are out there, but they would be the ones that would be your best allies.

      Wishing you and your son only the best…

  2. This article is a goldmine for anyone looking to up their Instagram game! I appreciate the detailed list of top influencers. It would be great to see some tips on how everyday users can connect and engage with these influencers effectively.

    • Thanks for the comment! This blog really focuses on helping businesses and entrepreneurs grow their business with their marketing, so I do have quite a few posts on influencer marketing and engaging influencers on Instagram and elsewhere. For everyday users, though, as you can imagine, it will be nearly impossible to truly connect and engage with these top influencers – but you can try!

    • I believe there are Elka. The question is: Who has the ear of nonprofits? Is there a source of information – or people – that they tune into for that advice? That is how I would start my research, and look for content creators creating content around those subjects.

  3. This is soo inaccurate. Check Instagram before you spread false facts. Justin Bieber has 226m followers now and Christiano 417m why are you making things us

    • Actually I checked all of the following numbers and they are all correct.

      These are the top Instagram influencers – people that are famous from Instagram and social media.

      This list does NOT include traditional celebrities that are already known OUTSIDE of social media such as Justin Bieber and Christiano Ronaldo.

      Furthermore, the title of the post is not The People With The Most Followers On Instagram – it is a look at the top Social Media Influencers on Instagram.

      So I don’t believe it is inaccurate, but I do appreciate your comment as it prompted me to update the followers numbers – thanks!

  4. Being an influencer is very challenging and finding the right influencer to promote the business is also challenging. But with this, you provided it easy to find the right influencer.

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