Social media has allowed celebrities to directly communicate with fans over the years. Platforms like Twitter and Instagram have given users a closer look at their favorite celebrities, granting them direct access into their world.
Celebrities like Selena Gomez and Chrissy Teigen have used their platforms to speak openly with fans about important issues, while stars like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Justin Bieber have built their empires on social media. These celebrities have the power to influence millions of people around the world with a single post, and they have mastered just how to do it.
Scroll through the photos below to see some of the most influential celebrities on social media.
The Beyhive is a force to be reckoned with! Beyonce is the fifth most followed person on Instagram, and currently, the singer holds the top spots for the two most-liked photos ever on the social media app. The announcement that she was expecting twins in February 2017 is still the most-liked photo with 11 million likes, followed by the July 2017 photo announcing Sir and Rumi Carter's arrival, which currently has 10 million likes.
Ariana Grande comes in second for the most followed person on Instagram, but her impact goes far beyond the Facebook-owned app. A suicide bomber attacked concertgoers outside Grande's concerts at the Manchester Arena on May 22, 2017, killing 23 people and injured 250 more. The Nickelodeon alum took to Twitter to directly communicate with fans several hours after the attack, writing, "Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don't have words." Her words quickly became one of the most retweeted in the social networking site's history, with more than a million retweets, and 2.6 million likes.
One look at Chrissy Teigen’s social media accounts and it’s clear that the model doesn’t hold back — and that’s what makes her so relatable. That candor has helped her gain more than eight million followers on Twitter, as well as earning her a block from the President of the United States Donald Trump in 2017. The Lip Sync Battle host shares everything from her struggles with mental health to her strong political opinions, as well as helping give a voice to those in need. The adorable photos she shares of her daughter Luna, husband John Legend and her food recipes have also contributed to her Instagram follow count of more than 14 million.
Justin Bieber began his career on social media. The singer was discovered through YouTube covers posted by his mom, and that catapulted him into stardom. Much of his early success came about from Facebook and Twitter, which he used as a tool to promote his music and his tours, reaching millions of Beliebers around the world. He currently has 102 million followers on Twitter and 92 million on Instagram.
Selena Gomez is currently the most followed person on Instagram, with more than 128 million followers. The "Bad Liar" singer took to her account to reveal that she had received a kidney transplant due to her lupus diagnosis, and the post is now the third most-liked on the website. The Disney Channel alum has also used her platform to speak openly to her followers and fans, and six of her posts are among the top ten most-liked on the photo-sharing site.
Less than a year into his presidency, Donald Trump has already become one of the most active presidents on social media. While Barack Obama was popular on social networks, Trump has used his personal Twitter account as a way to deliver messages directly to his followers without using the media. Some of his most provocative tweets have caused quite a stir around the world, gaining attention from fellow celebrities and other politicians. Although he just missed being in the list of top 20 most followed Twitter accounts — coming in at No. 21 — Trump shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Kim Kardashian followed in Justin Bieber's footsteps and built her career through social media. The reality star began sharing photos of herself and of her life to go hand-in-hand with her already super public life that fans got to see in Keeping Up With the Kardashians. The businesswoman has gotten used to "breaking the internet" and has since built an empire, including a release of a book of selfies, titled Selfish, and is now often referred to as a social media mogul.
Just like their big sister Kim Kardashian, Kendall and Kylie Jenner have created careers for themselves through their social media accounts. While both sisters have massive followings on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, it is their ability to sell themselves and their products through social that makes them a part of this list. Kylie was able to turn her followers into customers when she launched her highly successful Kylie Cosmetics in 2015, and her big sister turned her popular Instagram photos into a high-fashion modeling career.
Taylor Swift is the queen of marketing. The star relies heavily on social media to promote and build anticipation for her upcoming projects, making her a savvy businesswoman. She also shares photos of her cats and her girl squad, which has only fortified her image of being the relatable girl next door. After taking a break from social media, the “…Ready For It?” singer lost her spot as the most followed person on Instagram but she continues to be in the top 10, coming in at No. 6 with 104 million followers, in addition to her 85 million followers on Twitter.
Ellen DeGeneres was on a clear mission to "break the internet" when she hosted the 2014 Academy Awards. The TV show host gathered some major A-Listers like Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and more for one of the most epic selfies of all time. The tweet was shared over three million times, but was later dethroned by a teenager looking to get free chicken nuggets from Wendy's. @TheEllenShow is No. 6 on the list of most followed pages on Twitter, and the comedian uses her platform to not only bring positivity and joy to her followers but also to shed light on important topics, including her support for hurricane relief efforts.
Katy Perry broke the record for being the first person ever to reach 100 million followers on Twitter. Perry joined the social network at the start of her career in 2009 and has since used it to connect with her fanbase. The "Swish Swish" singer also uses her platform to reach a wide audience regarding important topics. The singer expressed her support for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign and also uses Twitter to raise awareness about several social issues. Perry continues to be the most followed person on the website, with more than 105 million followers.
His words have power. Barack Obama has written 14 of the 25 most-liked tweets ever, and even after his presidency, his tweets still resonate with millions of people around the world. A tweet with an inspiring message in response to the 2017 Charlottesville attack, in August 2017, received more than 1.7 million shares. Obama wrote: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion."
Rihanna has quickly become a fashion icon in her own right, and that has taken prevalence on her Instagram account. With more than 57 million followers, the “Wild Thoughts” singer inspires a generation and determines what is “cool” at the moment. In an interview with Style.com from 2014, Tom Ford admitted that celebrities like Rihanna were causing a huge shift in fashion via their use of social media. “Customers don't care anymore about reviews or hard-copy publications,” the designer said at the time. “They care what picture Rihanna just Instagrammed while she's naked in bed, what new shoes she has on, how she's talking about them. That's what they respond to.”
While her racy photos once got her kicked off Instagram, the 29-year-old has recently been using her platform to call out President Donald Trump and to spread awareness about tragedies happening around the world. And don’t forget that she is the queen of brushing off the social media trolls.
K-Pop group BTS topped Billboard’s Social 50 chart for over 30 weeks in a row in 2017, which helped them win the award for Top Social Artist at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. The Korean pop group beat heavyweights Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande in the category, after their super dedicated fans helped them win the award by tweeting the hashtag #BTSBBMAS more than 300 million times. The group also won the global award for influence on social media at the 9th Shorty Awards in April 2017.
The Rock is currently No. 9 on the list of most followed Instagram users, with a total count of nearly 95 million followers. The pro wrestler turned actor gained his followers by posting his insane workout videos, inspirational messages and sweet videos of himselfmeeting his diehard fans. The Baywatch star was able to turn his hardworking ethic into motivational videos to inspire his followers, and it seems to be paying off just fine.