The most followed person on Instagram is also the most influential, at least where earning power is concerned.
Having recently crossed 200 million followers, the first person to ever do so this individual is true superstar, but perhaps not in the way many would expect.
Among the most popular people on the visual social medium, reality stars, musicians and sports figures dominate much of the top 20 list. From the Kardashian-Jenner clan (name any one and they are likely in the app’s top followed tier) to Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and more, these entertainment figures are more followed than most. Except for one, who is as skilled on the field as he is on the ‘Gram.
Cristiano Ronaldo, the star of the Juventus and Portugal football teams, last week crossed the magic mark, and now stands at 201 million followers. Ronaldo’s account is the world’s second most followed overall, surpassed only by Instagram’s own profile which has 331 million fans. He is a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, last taking the award for being the world’s best football player in 2017.
Numbers don’t always say it all but in this case, it generally adds up. According to Forbes, last year Ronaldo pocketed US$47.8 million from paid-posts on the social platform, significantly more than the US$34 million he makes annually playing for Juventus. He was easily the top earning influencer, beating out his long-time rival on the field, Lionel Messi, who made US$23.3 million in paid-posts. Model and reality star Kendall Jenner was third, earning almost US$16 million last year.
Ronaldo, who receives an average US$975,000 per paid-post, is likely looking at an even bigger payday in 2020 with this new milestone. His previous prices, which clients such as Clear Haircare and Nike Football paid, were built on his 187 million follower base back in October. Now, he may well average above a million dollars for each sponsored post if the numbers hold.
Comparably, a paid-post on Messi’s account averages US$648,000 while third-ranked Jenner averaged US$611,000.