Almost all celebrities have social media presences but have you ever wondered which ones are the most influential? New research has revealed social media’s most influential Black celebrities, by analyzing Instagram and Twitter followings as well as follower engagement rates.The study, conducted by Black lifestyle brand That Sister, used data to create a combined social media influence score for more than 20 of the most popular Black celebrities. The overall score took into account the number of followers each celebrity has on Instagram and Twitter, as well as their audience engagement rates on both platforms.
French footballer Kylian Mbappé ranks as the most influential black celebrity on social media, with a social media influence score of 93.18 out of 100. The 24-year old, who currently plays for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain, has a whopping 97.1 million Instagram followers and 11.7 million Twitter followers. He was found to have the highest Instagram engagement rate out of any celebrity in the list at 12.09%, and the second highest Twitter engagement rate, at 2.43%. It is worth noting this is well above the average engagement rate for any user on either platform, which is 0.98% for Instagram and 0.04% for Twitter.
Zendaya ranks second on this list with a social media influence score of 85.95 out of 100. The 26-year-old actor and singer has 166.8 million followers on Instagram and 21.2 million followers on Twitter. Zendaya is the youngest two-time acting winner of a Primetime Emmy and has been featured on numerous other most influential lists, including Time Magazine’s 2022 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
TikTok sensation Khaby Lame ranks third on the list with a social media influence score of 85.24 out of 100. The Senegalese-born Italian went viral in 2020 for his TikToks in which he silently mocked overly complicated ‘life hack’ videos. He currently has 79.7 million Instagram followers and 369,681 Twitter followers and as of February 2023, is the most followed user on TikTok.
The fourth most influential black celebrity is Mohamed Salah, with a social media influence score of 83.41 out of 100. The Egyptian footballer has accrued an impressive 56.5 million followers on Instagram and 17.9 million followers on Twitter. The 30-year-old is recognised as one of the best football players in the world, and currently plays for Liverpool FC in addition to captaining Egypt’s national football team.
Rihanna ranked fifth on the list, with a social media influence score of 79.78 out of 100. The singer, actress, and entrepreneur has an Instagram following of 140.3 million and 107.8 million followers on Twitter. The Barbados-born singer is the second best-selling female music artist of all time behind Madonna, and receives 70.1 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
The sixth most influential black celebrity is Paul Pogba, with a social media influence score of 78.61 out of 100. The French footballer currently plays for Juventus and the French national team and has 57.1 million followers on Instagram and 10.6 million followers on Twitter.
Seventh on the list is American rapper Cardi B with a social media influence score of 77.18 out of 100. The Grammy-award-winning rapper, songwriter, and actress initially rose to prominence on Vine and Instagram and has 151.5 million Instagram followers and 18.4 million Twitter followers.
Beyoncé ranks eighth on the list of social media’s most influential black celebrities, with an influence score of 75.86 out of 100. The American singer and songwriter has 294.7 million followers on Instagram and 15.7 million followers on Twitter, and recently broke the record for the most Grammy award wins of all time.
Former US President Barack Obama ranks ninth, with a social media influence score of 71.96 out of 100. Obama is the most followed person on Twitter with 133.3 million followers, however ranks further down the list due to his lower engagement rate on the platform. He is widely recognised as being the first African-American president of the United States and remains a famed orator and Democratic campaigner to this day.
Tenth on the list is Canadian-born rapper Drake, who has a social media influence score of 71.04 out of 100. Drake has an impressive 130.8 million Instagram followers and 39.9 million Twitter followers, but is also let down by a lower level of audience engagement on Twitter. Drake is often credited with popularising singing and R&B sensibilities in hip-hop and his music is listened to by approximately 68.5 million people per month on Spotify.
Commenting on the data, a spokesperson from That Sister said, “In honour of Black History Month this February, this study highlights the accomplishments and global reach of celebrities within the Black community. “It places a particular focus on social media, given its growing significance in today’s world and its unique capacity to amplify the cultural achievements of Black people, advocate for inclusion, and unite Black people in the US and the diaspora.”
The list of the top 20 most influential black celebrities on social media is below: