The first month of 2018 is almost over. Influencers and brands, have your accounts been growing in the new year? Let’s take a look at the top 10 fastest growing Instagram accounts* in the year 2017 and gain some inspiration from them.
Taking 10th place is Colombian singer-songwriter Sebastián Yatra, who was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album in the 2017 Latin Grammy Awards. Yatra currently has 3 million followers on Instagram. As he sings in Spanish, it comes as no surprise that the top three countries from which his followers hail are Colombia (18.52%), Argentina (9.63%) and Mexico (9.08%).
Yatra’s most-liked post from last year was uploaded towards its end. The photograph features Yatra himself with his new French bulldog puppy, Aureliano.
We are certainly no stranger to Caleb McLaughlin, child actor best known for his role as Lucas Sinclair in the Netflix original drama Stranger Things. McLaughlin’s account was experiencing small but steady growth until the hype up period to the release of Stranger Things Season 2 in October last year, after which said growth increased exponentially. His Instagram account currently boasts 4.6 million followers and it doesn’t seem like the account’s growth will taper off anytime soon; it’s already seen an increase in 560 000 followers since the start of 2018!
McLaughlin’s most-liked post of 2017 was an old photograph of himself taken with Stranger Things co-star Finn Wolfhard, wishing his co-star a happy birthday.
Coming in 8th is Indonesian singer Via Vallen, who has won a number of regional awards for her singing, including several in a type of Indonesian folk and traditional popular music known as dangdut. The singer currently has 4.8 million followers on her Instagram account.
Her most-liked Instagram post of 2017 was a selfie taken at Indonesian television station, Indosiar, on the day of her D’Academy Asia 3 performance.
Watch her performance of her hit single “Sayang” below.
Some of you may have heard of (or seen) Mia Khalifa in contexts very different from those of this article. If so, you may be wondering if this is indeed the same person as the one you have in your mind. Khalifa, a Lebanese-born American, is best known for her role as an adult entertainment actress. She now hosts a sports show for Complex News on its YouTube channel daily.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Khalifa’s most-liked photo in 2017 features a somewhat revealing shot of herself as part of a series of posters taken exclusively for her patrons on Patreon. Although Khalifa’s public account has over 5 million followers, only the 295 of them who are part of her “Patreon Family” have access to her private account.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Inc. among other companies now has yet another achievement to add to his name: he has made it onto the list of fastest growing Instagram accounts in 2017. Although Instagram is generally used by more females than males, Musk’s account has a larger percentage of males (42%) than females (34%), with the rest of his followers being generic accounts (e.g. verticals, meme accounts, animal-related accounts and more).
Musk’s most-liked post of 2017 is a back-lit photograph of him standing in front of Atatürk Anıtkabir Museum in Turkey at dusk. Unlike the most-liked posts we have seen so far, Musk’s photograph was not posted in December. Since these are the fastest growing accounts of 2017, we would expect that posts occurring later in the year do better as these are the posts that would appear on more followers’ feeds and yet, interestingly enough, that was not the case for Musk.
Spanish professional football player Marco Asensio, who also plays for Real Madrid, has made it into the top 5. Although Asensio is Spanish, the largest number of followers he has are from Brazil (9.21%). This is followed by Spain (8.67%) and Italy (6.83%). The account Asensio mentioned the most in 2017 was @sefutbol, the official Instagram account for Spain’s National Football Team.
Many of Asensio’s posts are professionally-taken photographs of himself on the field. Posted on the final day of 2017, his most-liked post in the year was also taken on the field and features himself and his team mates. It was aptly captioned “Last training of the year”.
At 4th place for fastest growing accounts of 2017 is Logan Paul. Paul’s videos have been put under the spotlight since he uploaded a vlog of his trip to Aokigahara (nicknamed “suicide forest”) in Japan, which included footage of a deceased person’s remains that he had found within the forest. Paul was seen to be making light of suicide, and this, in addition to what some perceive to be his crude sense of humor and disrespect for other cultures resulted in a backlash and earned him much ire from the internet community. Perhaps affirming the idea that “there is no such thing as bad publicity”, Paul’s steady follower growth seems little affected by the incident.
Paul’s most-liked post of 2017 comes from the set of the newest movie he is starring in–The Thinning: New World Order, sequel to the 2016 thriller, The Thinning, which also featured him as one of the main characters.
And we’re down to the top 3! In 3rd place is French football star Ousmane Dembélé, who plays for France’s National Football Team as well as Spanish football club, Barcelona. Unlike Asensio, whose Instagram follower demographic matches the language he speaks, Dembélé’s followers hail from Brazil (8.16%), Germany (7.19%) and Italy (6.06%). France, his home country, comes in 4th place, with 4.85% of his followers from the nation. Given that Dembélé’s Instagram account features him only on the field or in a professional capacity and Dembélé appears to communicate with his followers mainly through emoticons and hashtags, his followers are unlikely to have difficulty understanding him.
Dembélé’s most-liked post features the joyous Barcelona team celebrating their 3-0 win against Real Madrid last year.
The 2nd fastest growing account belongs not to a single person but to a company. Also the only business that has made it onto the list, Marvel Studios gets the honor. So where do Marvel fans (on Instagram) come from? The United States makes up the largest proportion (24.44%), followed by Brazil (10.69%) and India (8.04%).
It seems like fans were very much interested in Avengers: Infinity War, since the teaser poster for the movie was the most-liked post of 2017. As a matter of fact, posts hashtagged #InfinityWar also received the most number of likes on average (335 540) in the year!
And the fastest growing account in 2017 goes to… Noah Schnapp! Schnapp plays Will Byers on Stranger Things and his account has grown a whopping 933.16% since January 2017. Schnapp’s Instagram growth is similar to that of co-star Caleb McLaughlin’s–the former’s Instagram account, too, experienced small but steady growth until shortly before the release of the second season of Stranger Things. As for progress in 2018, Schnapp’s account has gained 830 000 followers in the month of January alone.
Just like McLaughlin’s, Schnapp’s most-liked post features himself and co-star Finn Wolfhard, in his happy birthday wish to Wolfhard.
It seems like in order to get insta-famous, you have to already have been famous in the first place. Now, wouldn’t that be easy for the rest of us human beings.
*We took accounts that already had an audience of at least 500 000 followers on 1, January 2017. This is to ensure that the data did not include very small accounts that experienced a large relative growth but small absolute growth.