Most Followed Instagram Accounts

This article has been updated for accuracy with the latest information on July 23, 2021.

Instagram continues its reign as one of the world’s most popular social media platforms with over 1 billion monthly active users. 

The question is: what are those users doing on the platform, and more specifically, who are they choosing to follow?

In this post, we’ve rounded up the top 20 most followed Instagram accounts to find out who has the most Instagram followers in 2021.

As expected, the most popular Instagram accounts are those of celebrities, with a few exceptions. We have one brand (Nike) in our list of most followed Instagram accounts and one magazine (National Geographic) that manages to sneak in among the Instagram accounts with most followers. 

The top 10 largest Instagram accounts are mostly those of musicians, actresses, and TV personalities, but there are also two footballers in the top 10 most followed Instagram accounts, and another one in top 20. And talking about sports, the top followed Instagram accounts also include a cricketer and two famous Spanish football clubs. 

But enough chit-chat, let’s dive right into our list of most popular Instagram accounts!

RankInstagram Account OwnerFollower CountType/OccupationPosting Frequency
1Instagram407 millionSocial media platformDaily
2Cristiano Ronaldo317 millionFootballerEvery 1 to 3 days
3Dwayne Johnson255 millionActor, professional wrestlerDaily, sometimes multiple times a day
4Ariana Grande253 millionMusician, actressTypically 2 to 3 days, up to a week
5Kylie Jenner250 millionTV personalityEvery 1 to 3 days, sometimes multiple times a day
6Selena Gomez246 millionMusician, actressInfrequent, 2 days to 2 weeks
7Kim Kardashian237 millionTV personalityUsually daily, sometimes multiple times a day
8Lionel Messi235 millionFootballerEvery 1 to 5 days
9Beyoncé194 millionMusician, actressInfrequent, 1 day up to 3 weeks
10Justin Bieber184 millionMusicianMultiple times a day
11Kendall Jenner176 millionTV personalityEvery 1 to 10 days
12National Geographic173 millionMagazineMultiple times a day
13Taylor Swift169 millionMusicianInfrequent, 1 week to 1 month
14Jennifer Lopez166 millionMusician, actressEvery 1 to 3 days
15Khloé Kardashian166 millionTV personalityEvery 1 to 3 days, sometimes multiple times a day
16Nike163 millionSportswear brandEvery 2 days to a week
17Neymar155 millionFootballerEvery 1 to 5 days
18Nicki Minaj147 millionMusician, actressDaily and up to 2 weeks
19Miley Cyrus138 millionMusician, actressUsually daily, sometimes up to 2 weeks
20Virat Kohli138 millionCricketerDaily and up to 2 weeks

Top 20 Most Followed Instagram Accounts of 2021

1. Instagram

Account owner: Instagram

Username: @instagram

Number of followers: 407 million

Profession: Social media platform

Country: USA

Best known for: Fun and inspirational content. Surprise, surprise, Instagram’s own Instagram account is what the platform is all about, fun and inspirational content, and it would be weird otherwise. Best suited for followers who are motivated by other people’s positive life stories.

Why not to follow: While posting about diversity and people who have overcome their challenges and disabilities is seen by many as a good quality, some people might find it a bit forced and even political. 


2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Account owner: Cristiano Ronaldo

Username: @cristiano

Number of followers: 317 million

Profession: Footballer

Country: Portugal

Best known for: Cristiano Ronaldo’s experience with 3 major football clubs (Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus) is truly inspirational for other footballers. He is best known for his trophies and record-breaking achievements like: five Ballon d’Or awards and four European Golden Shoes, most international goals (109), most Champions League goals (134) and most European Championship goals (14). He is also Real Madrid’s top goal scorer with 451 goals and the first football player to earn $1 billion in their career. 

Why not to follow: People love Cristiano Ronaldo for his amazing achievements in the world of football, but he mostly posts pictures of himself on his Instagram account, which some people might not find all that interesting if they’re only football fans and not fans of Cristiano himself.


3. Dwayne Johnson 

Account owner: Dwayne Johnson

Username: @therock

Number of followers: 255 million

Profession: Actor and professional wrestler

Country: USA

Best known for: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is most famous for his humor and original moves and mannerisms during his professional wrestling career, namely “The People’s Eyebrow”, “The People’s Elbow”, and “The Rock Bottom”, as well as for his career as one of the most well-paid actors. Unlike John Cena though, who is also known for his funny persona and wrestling career, Dwayne Johnson also lost a lot of matches – a total of about 35%. If you haven’t seen any of his movies, consider watching Jumanji, Fast & Furious, and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.

Why not to follow: The Rock posts photos and videos of himself, his movies and adventures, so don’t follow if you’re not a fan of him or his movies. Some people might also not appreciate that he used to make jokes that were not politically correct earlier on in his career. 


4. Ariana Grande

Account owner: Ariana Grande

Username: @arianagrande

Number of followers: 253 million

Profession: Musician and actress

Country: USA

Best known for: Ariana Grande is best known for her music and impressive voice. She is frequently compared to Mariah Carey for her wide vocal range and whistle register, but unlike Mariah who has a five octave vocal range, Ariana has a four octave vocal range. And while it’s an honor to be compared to Mariah Carey, and there are similarities between their voices, Ariana’s style is pretty different, especially on her newer albums. 

Why not to follow: Ariana posts mostly photos of herself and snippets from her music videos, so if you need anything more than that, consider not following her.


5. Kylie Jenner 

Account owner: Kylie Jenner

Username: @kyliejenner

Number of followers: 250 million

Profession: Reality TV personality

Country: USA

Best known for: Starring in the E! reality TV series Keeping Up with the Kardashians and for being the founder and owner of Kylie Cosmetics, which helped her become the world’s youngest “self-made” billionaire at age 21.

Why not to follow: If you’re not a fan of seeing Kylie posing in bathing suits and sexy outfits, consider not following her. Other than that, you should know that in 2020, Forbes accused her of forging tax documents to make herself appear as a billionaire, and for fabricating revenue figures for Kylie Cosmetics.


6. Selena Gomez

Account owner: Selena Gomez

Username: @selenagomez

Number of followers: 246 million

Profession: Musician and actress

Country: USA

Best known for: Her singing and acting career. As a kid and teen, she has starred in many movies and TV series like Barney & Friends, Wizards of Waverly Place, Another Cinderella Story, etc. Gomez has released 3 albums with her former band and 3 solo albums, and has 8 top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100. She has also been a UNICEF ambassador since she was 17. 

Why not to follow: Some people say Selena Gomez is not a talented enough singer and her live performances are sometimes disappointing for such a big artist.


7. Kim Kardashian

Account owner: Kim Kardashian

Username: @kimkardashian

Number of followers: 237 million

Profession: Reality TV personality

Country: USA

Best known for: Her appearance in the reality TV series Keeping Up with the Kardashians and having a sex tape released in 2007, before the TV show started. She also has her own businesses: KKW Beauty, KKW Fragrance, and Skims, a shapewear brand. 

Why not to follow: A lot of people have accused Kim Kardashian and other members of her family of cultural appropriation and blackfishing, as well as setting up unrealistic beauty standards for the younger generation. Since 2000, butt-enhancing procedures have increased by 256%.


8. Lionel Messi 

Account owner: Lionel Messi

Username: @leomessi

Number of followers: 235 million

Profession: Footballer

Country: Argentina

Best known for: One of the greatest footballers of all time, with six Ballon d’Or awards and European Golden Shoes, and the most goals ever scored by a football player for a single club (Barcelona, 750 goals). Some people consider him Cristiano Ronaldo’s career rival, while others think he’s hands down the greatest player in the world. The main difference between Messi and Ronaldo is that Messi has won more titles than Ronaldo, but some people argue that’s because Messi has been playing for the better team. In my experience, it’s hard to objectively say who is the better player, even after looking at all the stats. It is a matter of preference after all. 

Why not to follow: If you’re not a football fan or a fan of Leo Messi himself, it’s best not to follow his Instagram account. He posts photos of himself, his family, and his team.


9. Beyoncé

Account owner: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

Username: @beyonce

Number of followers: 194 million

Profession: Musician

Country: USA

Best known for: Her amazing voice and singing career. With 118 million records sold worldwide, she is one of the world’s best-selling recording artists. She has won 28 Grammy Awards and 26 MTV Video Music Awards, to name just a few of her accolades. She is the most awarded singer in the award show history. 

Why not to follow: Some people complain about Beyoncé photoshopping her Instagram photos to look thinner, which could cause self-image issues for women. I mean, if Beyoncé feels the need to edit her body, how are the rest of us supposed to feel about our bodies?


10. Justin Bieber

Account owner: Justin Bieber

Username: @justinbieber

Number of followers: 184 million

Profession: Musician

Country: Canada

Best known for: His successful single “Baby” and many more since he started his singing career at 14. Bieber has sold over 150 million records, being one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His first studio album made him the youngest male singer to top the Billboard 200 in 47 years, and his second album, “Under the Mistletoe”, made him the first male artist to debut at number one with a Christmas album on the Billboard 200. 

Why not to follow: If you need your Instagram feed not to be bombarded by Justin Bieber, consider not following him. He posts multiple times a day.


11. Kendall Jenner

Account owner: Kendall Jenner

Username: @kendalljenner

Number of followers: 176 million

Profession: Model

Country: USA

Best known for: Her modelling career and her presence in the reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians. She is a brand ambassador for Estée Lauder and has done multiple editorials and cover shoots for Vogue, as well as walked the runway for high-fashion designers during fashion weeks in Paris, Milan and New York. 

Why not to follow: Kendall Jenner seems to be quite different from her family. The main difference between the Kardashian-Jenner clan and Kendall is that Kendall is much more private about her life and hasn’t had any kids yet. And while some people appreciate her more down-to-earth style, other followers have complained about her insensitivity to the Black Lives Matter movement due to her Pepsi commercial where she offers a Pepsi can to a police officer in the middle of a demonstration. Other followers have complained about rumors she’s rude to waiters and doesn’t tip.


12. National Geographic

Account owner: National Geographic 

Username: @natgeo

Number of followers: 173 million

Profession: Magazine

Country: USA

Best known for: National Geographic is one of the most popular monthly magazines of all time, with editions in 40 languages and 6.5 million copies being sold worldwide every month. It features topics like geography, science, history and world culture, and it has been published incessantly since it was first launched in 1888.

Why not to follow: No reason, but if you don’t want to see dramatic photography of animals and nature on your feed, consider not following. Best suited for people who are passionate about nature, animals, the environment, and photography in general.


13. Taylor Swift

Account owner: Taylor Swift

Username: @taylorswift

Number of followers: 169 million

Profession: Musician

Country: USA

Best known for: Her singing and extensive experience in songwriting, often inspired by personal life events. Good at storytelling. Taylor Swift’s first album was a country music one, and the second one country-pop, to which she later added rock, electronic and urban influences. She is one of the best-selling music artists, with over 200 million records sold worldwide. 

Why not to follow: Unlike most other celebrities on this list, Taylor Swift doesn’t just post photos of herself, but stories about her music and albums as well. It can be inspirational even if you’re not a fan of her music, but you might not like it if you’re not into the artistic-melancholic look and style of an Instagram page.


14. Jennifer Lopez 

Account owner: Jennifer Lopez

Username: @jlo

Number of followers: 166 million

Profession: Musician and actress

Country: USA

Best known for: Singing, acting, and dancing. She started her career as a dancer on In Living Color and then went on to pursue an acting career. Her first role in the biographic film Selena brought her to fame. She starred in a few other movies and 2 years later launched her music career as well with the album “On the 6”. She was listed among the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2018 and is considered a “triple-threat” entertainer by many people in the industry. 

Why not to follow: Some people accuse J.Lo of stealing Ashanti’s vocals for her own songs and of not having enough singing talent herself as compared to the success of her music career. If you’re one of those people, consider not following her Insta account.


15. Khloé Kardashian

Account owner: Khloé Kardashian

Username: @khloekardashian

Number of followers: 166 million

Profession: Reality TV personality 

Country: USA

Best known for: Just like the rest of her family, Khloé has become famous due to the reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and later the subsequent series Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami and Kourtney and Khloé Take The Hamptons. Together with her sisters Kim and Kourtney, she has been involved in the fashion and retail industries, launching several collections of clothing and fragrances.

Why not to follow: Just like the rest of her family, she has been accused of cultural appropriation several times, so some users might decide not to follow her because of that, or simply because they’re not willing to be exposed to body image issues.


16. Nike

Account owner: Nike

Username: @nike

Number of followers: 163 million

Profession: Sportswear multinational 

Country: USA

Best known for: Nike is a multinational sportswear corporation selling athletic shoes, sports apparel, equipment and accessories. In 2020, it had a revenue of over $37.4 billion.

Why not to follow: If you’re interested in sustainable fashion and not into supporting fast fashion and sweatshops, consider not following Nike.


17. Neymar

Account owner: Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior

Username: @neymarjr

Number of followers: 155 million

Profession: Footballer

Country: Brazil

Best known for: Named the “South American Footballer of the Year” twice, Neymar is considered one of the best footballers in the world. He plays for the Brazil national team and the Paris Saint-Germain League 1 club. He is the second highest goalscorer after Pelé for his national team, with 68 goals in 111 matches. 

Why not to follow: If you’re not a football fan, consider not following Neymar, as he posts mostly pictures of himself and his matches. However, some people might take a look at his page and reconsider their decision to follow (wink wink).


18. Nicki Minaj 

Account owner: Nicki Minaj

Username: @nickiminaj

Number of followers: 147 million

Profession: Musician

Country: Trinidad and Tobago

Best known for: Her rapping, her voluptuous body, and her colorful appearance and personality. Nicki Minaj is considered by many the “Queen of Rap”, with an unbelievable word flow, spontaneity and unique tone. With 137 million records sold worldwide, she is one of the best-selling female artists of all time. 

Why not to follow: People generally love Nicki’s straightforwardness and sense of humor, but some followers might consider her problematic, the common reason for that being her feuds with other artists like Cardi B, Lil’ Kim, Remy Ma and Mariah Carey.


19. Miley Cyrus

Account owner: Miley Cyrus

Username: @mileycyrus

Number of followers: 138 million

Profession: Musician and actress

Country: USA

Best known for: Her music and unique raspy voice. Milye Cyrus has experience in different musical genres, from pop to country to rock to hip-hop, and experimental. She first launched her career as a Disney character in the TV series Hannah Montana, whose soundtracks reached the Billboard Top 200, twice at number one and 3 times in the top five. Miley’s most famous singles from her own discography include “Wrecking Ball”, “We Can’t Stop” and “Party in the U.S.A.”

Why not to follow: Some followers might not be too crazy about some of the things Miley did when she was younger, like cyberbullying Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. But as Miley says in one of her tweets, “I am proud to say, I am simply in a different place from where I was when I was younger.” Ideal for followers who are fans of her music and willing to forgive and turn a blind eye on mistakes of the youth.


20. Virat Kohli

Account owner: Virat Kohli  

Username: @virat.kohli

Number of followers: 138 million

Profession: Cricketer

Country: India

Best known for: Being the current captain of the Indian national cricket team. People consider Kohli as one of the best batsmen in the world, with a world record for being the fastest batsman to 8,000, 9,000, 10,000, 11,000 and 12,000 runs in ODI cricket. 

Why not to follow: If you’re not passionate about cricket, there’s not much you can get by following this account. 

What do you think about the top followed instagram accounts? Do you follow any of these people or what celebrities do you follow? 
Don’t forget to follow our Hot in Social Media Instagram account as well for the hottest and most useful tips and tricks on social media and digital marketing.

See also: Changing profile pic too often

Camelia is a content writer, proofreader, and translator. She has been writing website content and blog posts for over 10 years and she is a perfectionist. She is very passionate about living a sustainable life and dreams about changing the world one small step at a time.