Instagram’s growth and popularity have led the platform’s top content creators (called “Instagrammers“) to command audiences that number in the millions. For brands, collaborating with these aspirational fashionistas, talented photographers, stunning makeup artists, and inspirational photographers is now one of the most effective ways to reach and engage with consumers who spend hours each day on social media platforms and look to top Instagram influencers to make purchasing decisions.
UPDATE June 30, 2017 — See our 2017 top Instagrammer list featuring the biggest channels for fitness, fashion, entertainment, pets, and more.
As part of our ongoing market data research, we’ve identified the top Instagram influencers: we first compiled a list of the top 100 Instagram influencers based on the number of followers, divided the social media stars into categories based on their audience and the type of content they publish, and selected the top three influencers (per engagement rates) in each category. To receive our case study analysis data when published, subscribe to our newsletter here.
Based on follower count and also standout examples in each category, the top Instagram influencers in 2016 are:
Huda Kattan, a Hollywood-trained makeup artist and top beauty blogger uses Instagram to share tutorials and product reviews with women everywhere. With over 14M followers on Instagram alone, Kattan’s Huda Beauty Collection has become one of Sephora’s top selling items globally.
Ingrid Nilsen, best known for her self-titled beauty & makeup YouTube channel, integrates beauty-related content and inspirational lifestyle images on her Instagram channel. As one of the top beauty gurus on the web, Nilsen collaborates with brands such as Covergirl, SKII, Schwarzkopf, and Simple Skincare.
International makeup artist and the face behind a beauty blog, Kissable Complexions, Jade Marie is a top Instagram influencer best known for her makeup tips & tutorials. Marie’s channel is highly focused on beauty-related content that attracts niche audiences; the recognition she’s received in the industry has led her to become an official beauty expert for Viva Glam.
Zach King is an American Vine star, filmmaker, and YouTube personality known for his “magic vines” where he digitally edits videos as if he is doing magic. He is based in Los Angeles and has been sponsored by brands such as Buick, Ford, and Red Bull.
Nash Grier is known for his authentic Vine videos that are action-packed and relatable to adolescents. He has partnered with Sonic Drive-In and Pepsi.
Josh Ostrovsky has gained Instagram fame by creating and/or republishing internet memes with hilarious commentary. Ostrovsky’s large Instagram audience (currently nearly 9 million followers) has enabled the pop culture icon to launch his own line of Rosé and collaborate with brands like Burger King, Bud Light, Beats, and Virgin Mobile.
Related Post: The Rise Of Instagram Meme Publishers
Joanna Stevens Gaines co-hosts HGTV’s Fixer Upper with her husband and owns a real estate, construction, and design company, Magnolia Vines. She is known for flipping, remodeling, and fixing dilapidated houses.
Seb Lester is an English artist, type designer, and calligrapher known for his type designs and calligraphic prints. While he has produced numerous notable designs, his is widely known for his videos of him hand-drawing well-known logos including those of The New York Times, Huffington Post, and Fast Company.
Hayden Williams is a British fashion illustrator and designer known for his work on Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram. He has partnered with brands such as Disney, Rimmel London, TASCHEN, and Winsor & Newton.
Chiara Ferragni is founder of The Blonde Salad, a top fashion blog that gains over 14M monthly pageviews. Ferragni’s success as an influencer in the industry has led her to launch an eponymous shoe line as well as partner with major brands like Louis Vuitton and Fendi.
Julie Sarinana is a Los Angeles-based influencer and a creator of Sincerely Jules, a renowned fashion blog. She integrates her lifestyle shots with fashion-related content and collaborates with many top women’s fashion brands such as Gap, Nordstrom, and Revolve Clothing.
Selected for Forbes 30 Under 30, Aimee Song is a leading style icon and founder of the lifestyle and fashion blog Song Of Style. Her most recent collaboration includes a photo shoot in Bali with Manebi.
Happy Monday! Missing this Hello Kitty donut at the organized chaos of the shibuya crossing in Tokyo ???. The Shibuya “scramble” crossing is well known for people watching and a must visit while in Tokyo. When the traffic lights turn red, pedestrians would pour out from all sides and meet in the middle of the intersection. I find it very calming to watch from afar. Also, Hachiko statue is in one of the corners of this intersection! — I’ve been spending some time re-learning Japanese through iknow.jp and I love it so much! To my fellow 日本語 learners, i highly recommend checking out iknow.jp @iknowjp to review your kanji, listening skills and vocabularies. It makes the learning process super fun compared to using flash cards! However, this app will not teach Japanese from scratch – you have to use this in conjunction of a text book since they do not teach you grammar. I wish apps like this existed when I was learning Japanese in college! You can also learn other language like Chinese and English for SAT learners #iKnowjp
Foodie blogger and world traveler Melissa attracts thousands of Instagram likes and comments by posting photos of cultural-specific delicacies with the country or city of their origin as the backdrop.
Ella Mills is a healthy eating guru, lifestyle and food blogger, two-time best-selling author. Most recently, the top Instagram influencer launched her own food line called Deliciously Ella.
A simple brined turkey with my famous (in my mind) moonshine & tamari glaze + my vegetarian riff on my grandmother’s Cornbread & Biscuit Sage Stuffing (aka dressing to us Southerners). I teamed up with @shopsimon to bring you these easy, perfect for last minute recipes. And much table inspiration! Link in profile. #foundatsimon #SimonSAID #localmilkrecipes
Elizabeth Kirby is a photographer, stylist, and the creator of the food, travel, & lifestyle blog Local Milk, which focuses on slow-living and sustainable food. She has been featured in several publications including Food & Wine, Better Homes & Gardens, Huffington Post, and more.
Kayla Itsines has becomes one of the top fitness Instagrammers in the world thanks to her motivational content, app, and Bikini Body Guide instructional program. Itsines’ social media fame has led to partnerships with Cosmopolitan, Macmillan, Apple, and many others.
Yoga is a path to union and connection with all things, all beings and all life. I hear all the time, “that’s not yoga” instead of looking for the union that makes it yoga. Find the connection and you find yoga. Look for the separation and you find judgment, discontent, hate and suffering. It’s all love if you choose to see it as love and yoga can exist in everything if you choose to make everything #yoga A photo posted by Dylan Werner (@dylanwerneryoga) on
Professional Yoga instructor Dylan Werner leverages his Instagram channel to inspire audiences to pursue a healthy lifestyle regardless of where they are in the world. To date, Werner’s amazing poses and beautiful scenescapes have earned the Instagrammer over 300K followers.
Instagram influencer Hannah Bronfman has earned over 300K followers by posting inspiring fitness-related images, style tips, and photos of her exciting life.
Related Post: How Top Instagrammers Are Leading A Fitness Revolution
Neutrals and denim! De hoje – tons neutros e jeans, com bolsa crossbody linda by @carranooficial ? #carrano #ootd A photo posted by Camila Coelho (@camilacoelho) on
Camila Coelho is a renowned Brazilian blogger and social media star residing in Boston. While most recognized for her expertise in beauty, makeup, and fashion, Coelho shares broader aspirational visual content of her daily life on her Instagram channel.
We got into Charleston on Tuesday and hit the ground running. This little @Coach crossbody Dinky bag in denim is the best for traveling and exploring- small enough to carry around all day and big enough to fit all my stuff. Perfect! #CoachPreFall2016 #Coach1941 http://liketk.it/2oPzX @liketoknow.it #liketkit A photo posted by Julia Engel (Gal Meets Glam) (@juliahengel) on
Julia Engel is a San Francisco-based style and beauty blogger. She has been sponsored by brand names including Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Clorox.
Hat, knit jumper & denim shorts. #janessaleone #acnestudios #levis501 A photo posted by Mija by Mirjam Flatau (@mija_mija) on
Mirjam Flatau is a German lifestyle blogger known for her minimal, fun, and creative style. Since finding success of Instagram, Flatau has been cited in numerous fashion magazines and has partnered with fashion and beauty brands including Calvin Klein, Chloe, Bare Minerals, and more.
Buongiorno from #Naples ??? today in Ischia .. Blue colors like this blue city ? @nohow loafers A photo posted by Mariano Di Vaio (@marianodivaio) on
Mariano Di Vaio is an Italian model, actor, and lifestyle style blogger whose sense of style and aspirational content draws millions of followers to his Instagram channel each month. One of the most notable men’s influencers on the platform, Di Vaio has collaborated with top fashion brands like Cavalli, Brunello Cucinelli, and Gucci.
oooo how candid ? A photo posted by Marcus Butler (@marcusbutler) on
Though Marcus Butler acquired his social media stardom by vlogging on YouTube, the Instagrammer has amassed a sizable following on Instagram (3.2M followers) by posting engaging selfies with celebrities and photos from his travels around the world.
As humans we are excellent at looking at the negatives, looking towards the future with anxiety. This has been ingrained in us because our ancestors who worried about lions ? and bears ? attacking, survived and those who were at constant ease did not. However the pendulum has now swung too far in the opposite direction. We now worry about the smallest details, we stay up thinking about the most trivial problems. Anxiety in this form is toxic ? to our souls. We must take a small amount of time to redirect our minds towards the positive. We must appreciate the good times, the positive relationships, and even our smallest accomplishments. Once you take out the time to appreciate these small but important details you will see a meaningful change in your mood and most importantly in your outlook on life. I’m far from the first person to come to this realization but it’s something that’s been on my mind for some time now so I thought I’d share it with you on this Sunday morning. Have a great day all! ?? #positive #thoughts #nyc A photo posted by Dr. Mike (@doctor.mike) on
An actual doctor by trade, Dr. Mike enthralls his 1.9M Instagram by posting inspirational content of charitable endeavors, fitness activities, fashion tips, and adventures with his husky, Roxy.
Tardar Sauce, otherwise known as the Grumpy Cat, is an online celebrity known for her permanently grumpy face due to an underbite & feline dwarfism. Grumpy Cat’s popularity originated from her unique appearance-turned-memes resulting in multiple appearances on major media outlets such as NBC, CBS, Fox, and CNN.
Hunting down the best ice cream for @visitmaine today with Buffalo…tough gig y’all ??? #MaineThing A photo posted by Theron Humphrey (@thiswildidea) on
Photographer Theron Humphrey documents his travels with his rescue dog Maddie on his pet- and travel-focused Instagram account This Wild Idea and blog of the same name. Theron has received international fame by snapping photos of Maddie balancing on objects with the hashtag #MaddieOnThings.
Beach time again! Have a happy and safe holiday everyone. I’ll be at Mamby Festival hanging again. Come say hi! A photo posted by Manny The Frenchie (@manny_the_frenchie) on
With over 1M Instagram followers, adorable French Bulldog Manny has captured the attention of social media audiences with his infectious smile and lovable personality. Manny’s notoriety has led to brand sponsorships with Logitech, Barkbox, Southwest Airlines, and more.
Murad Osmann is a Russian photographer based in Moscow who is known for his “Follow Me To” photo series with his wife. He has previously partnered with Michael Kors and the United Nations Food Programme.
As every photographer knows the best views are on the edge. A photo posted by ChrisBurkard (@chrisburkard) on
California-based photographer Chris Burkard inspires Instagram followers by showcasing beautiful landscapes and travel subjects. Burkard has traveled to six of the seven continents on photography expeditions, and his work has been featured in The New Yorker and National Geographic Magazine.
Titanic. A photo posted by Christoffer Collin (@wisslaren) on
Swedish nature photographer Christoffer Collin has garnered over 1.4M Instagram followers by documenting both natural setting and human subjects in unique and beautiful ways.
A gifted photographer with a knack for authentically capturing expansive, wild spaces and breathtaking vacation destinations, French Instagrammer Alex Strohl has earned over 1.3M Instagram followers and had his work featured in BuzzFeed, Vanity Fair, Forbes, and other notable publications.
this feeling, forever. A photo posted by JAY ALVARREZ (@jayalvarrez) on
With over 4M Instagram followers, Hawaii-born Instagrammer Jay Alvarrez has become one of the platform’s top social media stars by engaging audiences with his natural good looks and aspirational travel content.
British travel Instagrammer Izkiz exposes audiences to beautiful destinations, delicious-looking foods, and mesmerizing events through perfectly-timed Instagram content. Her surreal aesthetic and colorful photos have led to 2.7M Instagram followers.
Exploring the lost city of the Incas! Machu Picchu ✌?️???? ?: @rayawashere A photo posted by Louis Cole (@funforlouis) on
English YouTuber Louis Cole has acquired 1.4M Instagram followers by posting photos from his global travels and unique adventures.