Most Followed Instagram Accounts and Sponsored Post Costs
Instagram is not only one of the biggest social media platforms, it’s also one of the most profitable for high profile creators.
Despite having fewer users than platforms like Facebook and YouTube, Instagram’s higher engagement rate gives it one of the highest advertising costs. In 2023, average ad prices on Instagram were estimated at $3.56 cost per click, ahead of every platform except LinkedIn.
For the celebrities with the most followers on Instagram, and the brands trying to profit from their followers, that translates into million-dollar costs for some sponsored posts. Pablo Alvarez has visualized Instagram’s biggest accounts, and their estimated earnings per sponsored post, using HopperHQ data from September 2022.
Calculating The Earnings Per Sponsored Post
It’s easy to assume that the most followed Instagram accounts make the most money on sponsored posts, but that appears to be only partially true.
In conducting research for the dataset, HopperHQ utilized both publicly available data and reports and privately researched statistics to measure the impact of different factors:
- Number of followers
- Levels of engagement (legitimate views, likes & comments)
- Influencer’s category (sports, music, acting, etc.)
- Audience makeup
- Influencer status (previous endorsements, number of endorsements, etc.)
And though the number of followers was the biggest influencing factor, some stars earned more from followers than others.
Costs of the Most Followed Instagram Accounts in 2022
The most followed person on Facebook and Instagram, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo leads the list of the most expensive Instagram accounts in 2022 for sponsored content.
It’s estimated that the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star was able to charge an estimated $2.4 million per sponsored post in 2022. With 442 million followers at the time of calculation, Ronaldo was estimated to charge nearly half a million dollars per post more than the next person on the list.
|Name||Category||Followers||Earnings Per Post|
|Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson||Celebrity||315,999,932||$1,713,000|
|Neymar da Silva Santos Junior||Sport||174,248,989||$945,000|
Kylie Jenner, the world’s “youngest self-made billionaire” according to Forbes, was second with earnings of $1.8 million per sponsored post on Instagram. Jenner, a member of the Kardashian–Jenner family with five of the top 20 most followed Instagram accounts, is also the youngest person among this cohort of big earners on Instagram.
But the most commonly followed celebrities in the top 20 were musicians with household names, including Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, and Taylor Swift. They accounted for 45% of the most followed accounts.
The Biggest Earners per Follower
Though almost all of the most followed accounts were estimated to cost more than those with lower follower counts, Katy Perry (Rank: 16th) stands out.
Perry was estimated to better utilize Instagram’s reach and earn more in total than #17-19, despite tens of millions fewer followers. In fact, she was calculated to earn more per follower than all of the top 20.
|Rank||Name||Earnings per Follower|
|2||Neymar da Silva Santos Junior||$0.0054233|
|7||Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson||$0.0054209|
The earnings per follower round up to just under a cent each, but tens of millions of followers make a sizable impact. In addition to Perry, Neymar (Rank: 18th) and Miley Cyrus (Rank: 19th) had the highest earnings-per-follower, ahead of accounts with hundreds of millions more followers.
But a new year can bring a lot of changes. The most followed Instagram accounts have already been reshuffled, with Lionel Messi now the second-most followed and Selena Gomez overtaking Kylie Jenner as the most-followed woman. How will potential earnings be impacted this year?
This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.
Where are Immigrant Founders of U.S. Unicorns From?
The majority of billion-dollar startups in the U.S. have at least one immigrant founder. Here is where those founders are from.
Where are Immigrant Founders of U.S. Unicorns From?
The majority of U.S. unicorns—private startups worth more than $1 billion—have at least one immigrant founder, according to the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP).
While some of the companies and founders are well known, like SpaceX from South Africa’s Elon Musk, hundreds of lesser-known unicorns have been founded from the top talent of just a handful of countries.
This visual using NFAP data lays out the countries which are home to the most U.S. billion-dollar startup founders as of May 2022.
Note: These rankings are based on unicorn valuations as of May 2022. As valuations regularly fluctuate, some companies may have gained or lost unicorn status since that time.
Countries with the Most U.S. Unicorn Founders
Here’s a look at the countries that these immigrant founders come from.
The 382 founders accounted for below have combined to start 319 of 582 U.S.-based unicorns.
|Rank||Country||# Founders of
|3||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||27|
|T16||🇳🇿 New Zealand||5|
|T16||🇰🇷 South Korea||5|
|T24||🇿🇦 South Africa||3|
|T33||🇨🇿 Czech Republic||2|
|T33||🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||2|
|T41||🇩🇴 Dominican Republic||1|
Far in the lead is India with 66 startup founders and Israel with 54 startup founders. Together, they account for 31% of all unicorn founders listed. In fact, more than half of the immigrant unicorn founders came from just six countries: India, Israel, the UK, Canada, China, and France.
These immigrant founders have helped found many of the world’s biggest startups:
- Stripe was co-founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison
- Instacart’s founder and former CEO, Apoorva Mehta, was born in India, then moved to Libya and Canada as a child.
- Big data startup Databricks was founded by a group of seven computer scientists from the University of California, including five immigrants from Iran, Romania, and China.
Immigration and Entrepreneurship
Though some of these founders came to the U.S. as successful business leaders, the report noted that many immigrated as children or international students.
In addition, there are another 51 founders (not included in the above statistics) that were not immigrants themselves but are first-generation Americans born to immigrant parents. Data from the report also shows that 80% of unicorns have an immigrant in some key role, whether it’s as a founder, a C-level executive, or some other crucial position.
Even historically, some of the biggest companies in the U.S. were not founded by Americans. For example, the founders of Procter & Gamble emigrated from England and Ireland in the early 1800s. And today, one of the biggest companies in the U.S. is NVIDIA, which recently broached a trillion dollar market cap and whose founder is from Taiwan.
The Ever-Changing Unicorn Landscape
While this dataset is from mid-2022, it should be noted that the startup ecosystem has shifted drastically in just the last year.
Rapidly rising interest rates and a slowdown in venture capital have conspired to create a more precarious fundraising environment, leading to down rounds and stagnation for some of these billion-dollar companies.
In Q1 2023, unicorn births declined 89%, suggesting that in upcoming years the unicorn list—and the number of immigrant founders—may be subject to change.
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