Take Grande, a candid Twitter user who has amassed a following of more than 64 million people on the platform, surpassing the American president, whose follower count is just under 62 million. His social media account continues to serve as his primary method of public communication in office and his tweets, as Time put it, “initiate a feedback loop of cable news segments, Google search results and online news stories, giving his short missives longer legs and allowing his online influence to dwarf that of his political rivals.”
Meanwhile, the songstress’ following is less than half of that on Instagram, where she reigns as one of the most followed figures on the site. Over on Facebook, Jada Pinkett Smith turned family conversation around a red table into one of the platform’s most-watched online shows, not only reinventing the talk show format, but also reinventing her own public persona in the process.
The list also features YouTube beauty vlogger James Charles, whose digital drama with fellow YouTuber Tati Westbrook was so closely watched it spurred mainstream media headlines and sparked swiftly changing subscriber counts.
Fellow YouTube sensation JoJo Siwa also made Time’s cut with more than 9 million subscribers to her channel and a brand so beloved by youngsters that even North Westis a fan.Perhaps Siwa will eventually gain a new fan in Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, Harry and Meghan’s newborn son. Also making the list this year, the new royal parents continue to expand the role of the Internet in the royal family, from championing causes they’re passionate about on social media to announcing the arrival of their first child.
“Each month, in an effort to highlight advocates and organizations focusing on issues such as climate change and mental health awareness, the account rotates the users it follows—a savvy strategy that has driven headlines,” Time explained. “The Sussexes’ forward-thinking, cause-oriented approach to social media fits neatly with other ways they are establishing their identity beyond the crown.”
To top it all off, their Instagram account broke a Guinness World Record when it first went live for gaining 1 million followers in less than six hours. Talk about influence!