TikTok is the home to millions of creators who strive to become overnight sensations with viral videos that grab them the title of “most-followers on TikTok”
With the platforms wide variety of content from comedy sketches, videos of pets and cooking videos to name a few, there is something for everyone to enjoy. TikTok has caused many ordinary people who enjoy creating content on the app to be shot into stardom. While some seek shortcuts like services claiming to buy TikTok followers, authentic engagement remains the proven path to sustainable growth. In a short period of time a TikToker’s followers could grow by the thousands or hundreds of thousands from just one of their videos going viral.
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Top 5 Most Followed TikTokers in the World
1. KHABY LAME- 146.7 Million Followers (Senegalese-Italian)
Khabane Lame (@khaby.lame) has earned himself the title of most followed TikToker in the world with an impressive 146.7 million followers which is constantly growing.The 22 year old started posting videos on TikTok of him recreating and mocking “Life Hacks” during the pandemic when he found himself out of a job. Soon his videos began to hit over a million views.
3. Charli D’Amelio- 144 Million Followers (American)
Before Khaby Lame grabbed the number one spot, Charli D’Amelio held the title for nearly two years and is one of the most recognised TikTokers in the world. The 18 year old dancer was also on of the first TikTokers to reach 10 Billion likes. Charli was put in the spotlight for her TikTok videos of her dancing viral dance routines and creating her own dances. Since rising to fame on the social media platform, Charli has gone on to work with Hollister to create her own clothing line and have her own reality T.V show “The D’Amelio Show”, which shows her life with her sister Dixie and her parents.
3. Bella Poarch- 90.7M Followers (American-Filipino)
Bella Poarch earned herself a spot in the top 3 most-followed TikTokers in under a year of setting up her account. The US Navy veteran has over 2 Billion likes on the social media platform which she shares videos of her talking about gaming, lip-syncing, and taking part in dance challenges. Since rising to fame, the singer has released two original songs and has starred in her own music videos.
4. Addison Rae- 88.4 Million Followers (American)
Similar to Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae gained her huge following through her dance choreography and lip-syncing videos. The 21 year old has had great success outside of her TikTok career, starring in the Netflix film “He’s All That”, creating her own fragrance line and making the Forbes 30 under 30 List in 2021 for social media influencers. Since her rise to fame, the singer and actress has been seen socialising with big names like Kourtney Kardashian and was invited to the one of the most prestigious events in the fashion world, the Met Gala in 2021 and 2022.
5. Will Smith- 72.2 Million Followers (American)
Unlike the previous TikTokers named above, Will Smith didn’t gain his fame from TikTok. Like many celebrities Will Smith hopped on the TikTok trend and quickly gained popularity on the video sharing platform. The singer and actors funny videos showing him take on viral trends and lip-syncing boosted his following to make him the only A-lister in the Top 5 most followed person on TikTok.
Most followers on TikTok in the UK
Kyle Thomas- 32.5M Followers
Kyle Thomas earns the title of the most-followers on TikTok in the UK. Sharing videos of his pet meerkat Mylo, of him lip-syncing, doing comedy sketches and food reviews, Kyle has gained quite the following at just age of 17. His wide variety of content as led to Kyle gaining 32.5 million followers and 1.5 billion likes on the social media platform.
The TikToker from Kent hasn’t just kept his creativity to TikTok, as he is set release his first graphic novel “Guardian of the Realm” in July 2022.
Jeremy Lynch- 19.5M Followers
Jeremey Lynch has gained an impressive following on his TikTok page where he shares football freelancing videos, creative transition videos and comedic skits with his 19.5 million followers. Jeremey, a former Arsenal Academy junior player, was famous before TikTok and was first put into the spotlight in 2008 when he appeared on Britains Got Talent where he showcased he football skills.
The Londoner later went on to form the duo F2Freestylers (The F2) with his friend Billy Wingrove where they show their 14 million Youtube subscribers soccer skills. The duo have done videos with Cristiano Ronaldo, Virgil Van Dijk and Mason Mount to name a few.
Abby Roberts- 17.1M Followers
Abby Roberts has the third most-followers on TikTok. The 20 year olds TikTok videos of makeup and special effects looks attracts 17.1 million followers. The Leeds born make-up artist blew up overnight when James Charles reposted a look she recreated of his and asked her to do an Instagram takeover on his page leading her to gain 100,000 followers overnight. Soon after her TikTok videos began to attract huge attention and boosted her career.
Abby has also expanded her career outside of TikTok, appearing on the TV show Glow-up as a guest judge in 2021. She has also gone on to start a music career with her first album “Ashes” getting over 250,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
Shauni Kibby- 17.1M Followers
Although Shauni and Abby Roberts both have the same amount of followers, Abby’s 1.4 billion likes on her videos put her just that bit further up the list. Shauni Kibby gained her following through her viral videos of her opening toys. The British TikToker also shares videos of her day-to-day life, body positivity, and challenges to her 17.1 million followers. The 22 year old also appeared on CBBC’s Saturday Mash Up alongside her boyfriend, fellow TikToker Jake Sweet.
Evie-Meg Field- 15M Followers
Evie-Meg Field shares videos to her 15 million followers about the reality of living with Tourette Syndrome. She posts honest stories of her experience with Tourette Syndrome and debunks the myths around the neurological disorder.
Evie-meg uses the name ThisTrippyHippie for her TikTok account. The 21 year old has gone on to publish her own autobiography ” My non-identical Twin” in order to further raise awareness of Tourette Syndrome.
Most followers on TikTok- Northern Ireland
Joel Mawhinney- 16.6M Followers
Joel is a 24 year-old magician and mentalists who uses his TikTok page to show his 16.6Million followers magic tricks and illusions. His bind-blowing videos are the reason he has the most-followers on TikTok in Northern Ireland. The County Down native has gone on to write his own book ‘Make Your Own Magic’ in which he reveals the magic behind some of his tricks. The TikToker who goes by JoelMagician (@joelm) has also hosted his own BBC One show “Life is Magic”.
Emma White- 1.4M Followers
Emma White gained 1.4 million followers on her TikTok page @officialemmawhite from her videos of her singing well-known songs and creating videos that followers can duet with her. Some of the Derry singers most viral videos have reached over 1 million views.
Olivia Neill- 1.3M Followers
Olivia Neill has made quite the name for herself as one of the most recognised Northern Irish TikToker at only 20 years old. Olivia has gained popularity on multiple social media platforms including Youtube which she has over 750K subscribers. The Belfast Tiktoker has her own podcast “Inner Monologue with Olivia Neill” and has signed with model agency Elite London. Her dancing videos and fashion content has led her to work with big brands like Rimmel and Motel Rocks.
Emma Kearney- 711K Followers
Emma Kearney has built up a considerable amount of followers through her make-up tutorials and funny videos of her day-to-day life which features her family often. Her success on the social media platform has allowed her to open up her own beauty salon Emzo & Co in Newry and she gone on to collaborate with Irish tan brand Iconic bronze to release her own eyeshadow palette, brush and eyelashes set.
Sophie Grier- 503.2K Followers
Sophie Grier joined the social media platform when her shows were cancelled due to the pandemic. The singer from County Antrim took up a job in a warehouse and began posting videos of her singing while on the job and in the car. It wasn’t long before the 24 year olds videos started to become viral and her following quickly grew on her TikTok page @sophygrier. One of Sophie’s car signing videos has reached up to 9 million views.
Most followers on Tiktok- Ireland
Victoria Adeyinka- 14.8M
Since starting her TikTok page in 2019, Victoria Adeyinka has earned 14.8 million followers giving her the title of most-followers on TikTok in Ireland. The 19 year old entertains her followers with her original content and comedy sketches and often features her own mother in her funny videos. This year the Drogheda born Tiktoker has pushed her career beyond TikTok with the release of her first single “This Abandoned” which has over 50,000 plays on Spotify.
Cairde is a group of seven Irish dancers who have shaken up the social media platform since joining in 2020. The group share videos of them Irish dancing to popular songs to their 3.1M followers making them the most followed Irish dance group on TikTok. Their modern twist on Irish dancing has caught the attention of the world with one of their videos reaching almost 90 million views. The Irish dance crew has gone on to appear on “The Late Late Show” and “Good Morning America”, perform for the President of the United States, Joe Biden, and at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula 1 Finale.
Tadgh Fleming went viral in 2017 when he posted a video on Facebook of his father trying to catch a bat that had flown into their kitchen while Tadgh shouted “Catch him Derry” throughout it. The viral video led Tadgh and his father to appear on The Late Late Show and ever since the Fleming family have been providing us with hilarious content. The 32 year old Kerry man and his family are known to put their own comedic twist on TikTok trends. Since joining TikTok Tadgh has gained nearly 3 million followers and in 2021 won Best Social Media Star of the year at the Gossies.
Keilidh Cashel made a name for herself through her Instagram and Youtube page before TikTok. Her creative videos of her make-up and special effect looks have attracted 2.8 million followers to her TikTok page. The 24 year old has done videos with famous make-up artists James Charles and Manny MUA and she is well-known for her impressive and realistic make-up looks for Halloween. The Monaghan born MUA even has her own make-up brand KASH Beauty.
Miriam Mullins is a social media influencer and creator who has gained a following of 1.9 million on TikTok from her relateble content and comedic sketches, in particular her “Irish Mammy” skits. Like many TikTokers, the 26 year old from Cork started her TikTok page out of boredom during the pandemic. Her success on TikTok has led her to appear on The Late Late Show in 2021 and to be in partnership with PAIR mobile.
Factors Contributing to Popularity on TikTok:
1. Content Analysis:
- Themes: Explore the common themes and niches popular among top accounts. This could include humor, music, dance, education, lifestyle, gaming, or specific trends like ASMR or POV storytelling. Analyze how successful creators stay within their niche while offering fresh content.
- Trends and formats: Identify trending challenges, sounds, and video formats used by top creators. Explain how they leverage these trends authentically and add their own unique spin.
- Content quality: Discuss the importance of high-quality production value, even on a mobile platform. This includes good lighting, sound, editing, and transitions.
- Storytelling and emotional connection: Analyze how top accounts use storytelling techniques, humor, and relatable scenarios to connect with viewers on an emotional level.
- Consistency and posting frequency: Explain the importance of regularly posting high-quality content to stay top-of-mind and engage your audience.
2. Engagement Strategies:
- Responding to comments and messages: Highlight how top creators actively engage with their audience by responding to comments, participating in discussions, and showing appreciation.
- Running contests and giveaways: Discuss how these strategies can incentivize engagement, attract new followers, and boost brand awareness.
- Q&A sessions and live streams: Explain how these interactive formats allow creators to connect directly with their audience, build relationships, and answer questions in real-time.
- Duets and stitches: Analyze how these features encourage collaboration, remixes, and community-driven content creation, expanding reach and engagement.
- Hashtags and trending sounds: Explain the importance of using relevant hashtags and trending sounds to get discovered by new audiences.
3. Algorithm Insights (based on publicly available information):
- Completion rate: Videos that viewers watch until the end are likely to be prioritized.
- Engagement metrics: Likes, comments, shares, and saves all contribute to a video’s ranking.
- Sound usage: Trending sounds and songs are more likely to be promoted.
- Niche relevance: Content that aligns with a user’s interests and viewing history is prioritized.
- Posting frequency and consistency: Regularly active creators are more likely to be shown.
4. Collaborations and Influencer Marketing:
- Partnering with other creators: Collaborations can expose your content to new audiences and leverage the combined reach of both creators.
- Leveraging influencers: Partnering with relevant influencers can significantly boost brand awareness and reach a targeted audience within their niche.
- Authentic partnerships: Emphasize the importance of genuine collaborations that align with brand values and resonate with the target audience.
- Campaign goals and measurement: Define clear goals for collaborations (e.g., brand awareness, follower growth, website traffic) and track their effectiveness.
Remember: This is not an exhaustive list, and the factors contributing to popularity on TikTok can be complex and constantly evolving. By staying updated on trends, analyzing successful accounts, and experimenting with different strategies, you can increase your chances of gaining a loyal following on TikTok.
Changes Over Time: Historical Rankings on TikTok
The world of TikTok popularity is fast-paced and ever-shifting, with new faces constantly rising to the top and seasoned creators adapting to stay relevant. Let’s take a glimpse into the past “most followed” accounts, explore the reasons behind their rise and fall, and uncover valuable lessons for anyone navigating this dynamic platform.
1. Timeline of Past Top Accounts:
- Early Domination (2016-2018): Musical.ly stars like Loren Gray, Baby Ariel, and Zach Clayton transitioned to TikTok, establishing themselves as early pioneers and amassing millions of followers.
- Comedy Takes the Stage (2019-2020): Charli D’Amelio emerged as the “Queen of TikTok” with her viral dance routines, while comedians like Addison Rae and Khaby Lame captivated audiences with their humor and wit.
- Diversification and Niche Stars (2021-Present): The landscape becomes more diverse, with creators like Khaby Lame surpassing Charli D’Amelio, and niche stars like Bella Poarch (ASMR) and Khaby Lame (reaction-based humor) finding immense success.
2. Reasons for Shifts in Popularity:
- Trend Evolution: Staying relevant with evolving trends and challenges is crucial. Creators like Loren Gray, who mainly focused on lip-syncing, gradually saw audience shifts towards dance and comedy content.
- Algorithm Changes: Understanding and adapting to algorithm updates plays a key role. Charli D’Amelio’s consistent posting schedule and high completion rates likely contributed to her early success.
- Content Diversification: Expanding content beyond initial niches can attract new audiences. Khaby Lame’s transition from short funny skits to diverse reaction videos kept his content fresh and engaging.
- Collaboration Power: Partnering with other creators can significantly boost reach and engagement. Charli D’Amelio’s collaborations with other popular creators undoubtedly contributed to her follower growth.
- Real-World Opportunities: Leveraging TikTok success for brand deals, music careers, or film projects can lead to shifts in focus and audience engagement. Addison Rae’s transition to acting might have impacted her pure TikTok audience numbers.
3. Lessons Learned:
- Staying relevant with trends is essential, but authenticity matters. Don’t blindly follow trends; adapt them to your unique style and voice.
- Understand the ever-evolving algorithm and tailor your content accordingly. Analyze performance metrics and adjust your strategy to stay visible.
- Don’t be afraid to diversify your content and explore new niches. Keep your audience engaged with fresh ideas while staying true to your core values.
- Collaboration can be a powerful tool for growth. Partner with other creators who share your audience or complement your style.
- Focus on building a genuine connection with your audience, not just chasing follower numbers. Engagement and loyalty are key to long-term success.
Remember, the key to navigating the dynamic landscape of TikTok lies in flexibility, creativity, and understanding your audience. By learning from the past and adapting to the present, you can carve your own path to success on this ever-evolving platform.
Beyond Follower Numbers: Metrics that Matter on TikTok
While follower count holds a certain allure, it’s just one piece of the puzzle on TikTok. True success goes beyond vanity metrics and delves into deeper engagement, real-world impact, and genuine connections with your audience. Here’s why:
1. Engagement Rate: The Power of Interaction:
Follower count reflects passive awareness, but engagement rate measures active interest and interaction. Likes, comments, shares, and saves signal genuine connection and indicate how actively your audience consumes and reacts to your content. A high engagement rate on a smaller, engaged audience can be more valuable than a bloated follower count with limited interaction.
Why it matters:
- Higher engagement rates signal trust and loyalty. It shows your audience is invested in your content and values your voice.
- Increased engagement fuels the algorithm. TikTok prioritizes content with high engagement, leading to wider reach and organic growth.
- Deeper connections lead to real-world conversions. Engaged audiences are more likely to click on links, share your content, and even become paying customers.
2. Brand Partnerships and Impact: Beyond Endorsements:
Top creators aren’t just influencers; they’re brand partners and cultural figures with impactful voices. Look beyond product endorsements and explore how accounts leverage their influence for meaningful collaborations:
- Raising awareness for important causes: Partnering with NGOs or social campaigns to drive positive change.
- Promoting diversity and inclusion: Using their platform to advocate for marginalized communities and raise awareness about social issues.
- Supporting small businesses and local artists: Collaborating with smaller creators and promoting entrepreneurship.
- Sparking trends and movements: Using their creative power to initiate challenges, discussions, and positive social movements.
Why it matters:
- Authentic partnerships build brand trust and loyalty. Audiences resonate with creators who use their platform responsibly and for good.
- Positive impact fosters a stronger community. By supporting meaningful causes, creators connect with their audience on a deeper level.
- Brand partnerships can lead to lasting influence. Collaborations with aligned brands can create lasting impressions and positive associations.
3. Authenticity and Audience Connection: Beyond the Trend Chase:
In a sea of fleeting trends, standing out requires authenticity. Rather than replicating every viral challenge, focus on building genuine connections with your audience:
- Share your unique personality and voice. Let your individuality shine through, even if it doesn’t fit current trends.
- Focus on stories and emotions. Connect with your audience on a personal level by sharing your experiences, struggles, and joys.
- Respond to comments and messages. Show your audience you care about their thoughts and build a two-way dialogue.
- Be transparent and relatable. Authenticity resonates more than a perfectly curated persona.
Why it matters:
- A genuine connection fosters trust and loyalty. Audiences connect with creators they feel they can relate to and trust.
- Authenticity creates a strong community. When your audience feels heard and valued, they become invested in your journey.
- It leads to sustainable growth. Building a loyal following based on authenticity paves the way for long-term success on TikTok.
Remember, follower count is just a number. By focusing on engagement, real-world impact, and genuine connections, you can build a meaningful presence on TikTok, connect with your audience on a deeper level, and achieve success that goes far beyond vanity metrics.
Q: Who has the most followers on TikTok right now?
A: This can change quickly, but currently, Khaby Lame holds the top spot with over 161 million followers. However, this article explores the dynamic nature of popularity and encourages focusing on more meaningful metrics than just follower count.
Q: How can I become popular on TikTok?
A: There’s no guaranteed formula, but consistency, creativity, and engagement are key. Analyze successful accounts, understand your audience, and prioritize quality content over chasing trends. Authenticity and building genuine connections will set you apart.
Q: What are some metrics to track besides follower count?
A: Focus on engagement rate (likes, comments, shares), completion rate (how much of your video viewers watch), click-through rates, and brand partnerships that align with your values and goals.
Q: What are some examples of creators using their platform for good?
A: Many top creators support social causes, raise awareness for important issues, or partner with small businesses and artists. Explore the article for specific examples.
Q: How can I stay updated on the latest trends and algorithm changes?
A: Follow relevant creators, industry news, and TikTok updates. Experiment with different formats and sounds, and analyze your performance data to adapt your strategy.
The world of TikTok popularity is dynamic and exciting, constantly evolving with new trends and faces rising to the top. While follower count might seem like the ultimate goal, this article suggests a deeper perspective. True success lies in building genuine connections, leveraging your influence for good, and creating content that resonates with your audience on a meaningful level. By focusing on engagement, impact, and authenticity, you can carve your own path to success on TikTok, leaving a lasting impression beyond just a number.
Remember, it’s not about blindly chasing trends but about finding your unique voice and connecting with your audience in a genuine way. Good luck on your TikTok journey!
Read more related articles: Influencers: The Process of Social Influence, Tiktok for Business