The Most Influential People on Social Media

The Internet is a powerful place where people can literally command others without even knowing it. Does anyone remember the “Dress That Broke the Internet”?


Without knowing it, most (if not all) of us spent some time trying to figure out what color this dress was, and participated in a debate about it – whether this was in person or online doesn’t matter. What matters is that the girl who posted this on Tumblr managed to reach over 21 million people and influenced their actions in some sort of way.

So besides this random Tumblr girl, who really ARE the most influential people on the internet?

We can look at this in a number of different ways. One of them is by looking at who has the most amount of Twitter followers.

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Many music artists are on this list, which can probably be explained by the fact that they inform their fans about new songs and albums on Twitter. It’s a very easy social media channel to quickly discover news and never be out of the loop.

Another way we can see who is most influential on social media is to look at which Facebook page has the most likes.

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Both lists have Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. What is it about them two that makes them so popular? According to various websites, they are both very popular because they are beautiful, young, relate to their fans, have built up a very strong and distinct image, and apparently have amazing marketing/PR teams.

Surprisingly, Facebook and Instagram don’t have any companies in their top 10. This suggests that they should do something about the ways in which they use social media. Maybe they should contact Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift for advice?



10 thoughts on “The Most Influential People on Social Media

  1. This is a difficult question that definitely got my mind racing! My first thought was: why in the world do people like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber have so many followers? This means that whatever Swift and Bieber say on social media can have an impact on a large amount of people, but is this really a good thing? I personally think the opinion of people like Malala should be more evident in the media because those are the topics that really matter in society nowadays.

  2. Where people like John F. Kennedy and Mandela had a big influence on people, nowadays there ha been made a big shift. Singers like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber have a huge impact on the life of a lot of people, but is that something positive? Shouldn’t it be that people like Obama should have more followers and should be able to influence more people? Is it social media which caused this shift in influenceable people or is it the society of today. These are relevant questions for this generation to think about. More and more important messages are lost between the unimportant messages and selfies of for example kim kardashian. Someone who made a sextape and became more famous than other politicians.

  3. Very good post. First of all, regarding the dress: it is most certainly gold and white ;).

    I think that celebrities like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber have more followers than companies because people really want to know what the celebrities are doing, and see what kind of similarities they have with Swift and Bieber. For example: ‘Taylor Swift likes to play tennis, I also like to play tennis, we’ve got so much in common’ (I can imagine people thinking that way). So the main purpose is to inform and to entertain. Whereas companies have an other purpose to be on social media (to sell products and services).

    The reason why I believe that Bieber has more followers on twitter than say Obama, is because people go to twitter (especially most underage people) for fun, not for serious topics like politics. They’d rather read about Bieber’s new song (yes for some people this is regarded as fun) instead of the economic crisis.

  4. This is really interesting! But to respond to Siran: I think you can’t compare social media with the ‘real world’ that way (and thus the influence of Kennedy). For example Facebook. A lot of people are active on this platform, both young and old. But who are the ones who like the most (fan)pages? I think that will definitely bet the younger generation; the people who are mostly influenced by Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. Not to mention the target group which is active on Instagram.
    When miss Ting asked to the most influential person last week, the whole class answered ‘Obama’.

    How will this change when this ‘social media generation’ are adult? Will the youth still dominate or will social media be more comparable tot the real world?

  5. Thanks for your comments guys! I enjoy reading them. It makes me think about my topic more. I agree that you shouldn’t compare social media to the real world. And I am also very curious to find out how these statistics will change once the “social media generation” is an adult.

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