The biggest influencers of 2023 & the biggest influencer hotspots revealed
As social media evolves, so does influencer marketing. Businesses and creators may have concerns about whether influencer marketing is coming to an end. However, the landscape is simply changing; authenticity is valued over sheer popularity in most cases, though they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
For brands looking to explore influencer marketing, check out our affiliates and influencer solutions to make global payment scaleable and stress-free. With that said, who are the biggest influencers of 2023, and where are the world’s biggest influencer hotspots?
Our experts at Tipalti have researched the top influencers and niches of 2023, looking at their follower counts and estimated earnings, their niches and where they are based. We then examined how the niches and categories compare to previous years to highlight key trends.
The most followed influencers in 2023
1. Khaby Lame
Total Number of Followers: 242.9M
Khaby Lame has the highest number of followers amongst the top influencers of 2023, with almost 243 million across Instagram and TikTok. He is better known for his comedic TikTok account, which he started during the pandemic after being laid off from work. He asserted himself as the most followed account on TikTok, dethroning Charli D’Amelio by June 2022. He currently has 162 million followers on TikTok and just under 81 million followers on his Instagram.
2. Charli D’Amelio
Total Number of Followers: 197.5M
Charli D’Amelio is the second-most followed influencer, with 197.5 million followers across TikTok and Instagram. She was a competitive dancer for ten years before joining TikTok in 2019, where she posted dance videos. It didn’t take her long to amass a considerable following, becoming the most followed TikTok account by March 2020. As of 2023, her TikTok account has over 151 million followers, and her Instagram account has over 46 million.
3. Jimmy Donaldson (MrBeast)
Total Number of Followers: 130.2M
Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, is the third-most followed influencer of 2023, with 130.2 million followers across his TikTok and Instagram accounts. MrBeast is mainly known as the most followed individual on YouTube, where he shares videos centred on expensive challenges and stunts. Over the last year, he has amassed a massive TikTok following of 88.1 million. This makes him the fifth-most followed account on TikTok; his Instagram account also has 42.1 million followers.
The highest-earning influencers of 2023
1. Khaby Lame
Total Estimated Social Media Earnings per Post: $1.2M
The most followed influencer is also the highest earning, as Khaby Lame makes around $1.2 million per post. Most of this estimated figure comes from sponsored posts on Instagram, which sees him earn up to $941,000 per post. Khaby has done some massive brand collaborations, even teaming up with Juventus Football Club for Manuel Locatelli’s signing announcement video and signing a multi-year partnership with Hugo Boss.
2. Charli D’Amelio
Total Estimated Social Media Earnings per Post: $780.2K
Charli D’Amelio is the second-highest-earning social media influencer, earning up to $780.2k across her social media accounts per post. Most of this figure comes from the estimated $538,000 she makes from sponsored Instagram posts. Charli has been involved in some huge partnerships, including Sabra hummus for a Super Bowl commercial and UNICEF for an anti-bullying campaign.
3. Burak Özdemir
Total Estimated Social Media Earnings per Post: $749.5K
Turkish Chef CZN Burak, as he’s better known, has the third-highest estimated social media earnings per post, at just under $750,000. Most of this comes from sponsored posts on Instagram, which see him earn up to $631,000 per post. CZN Burak was involved in a high-profile partnership in 2022 with Cristiano Ronaldo, where the pair planned to open a restaurant in London.
The global influencer hotspots of 2023
1. Los Angeles, California
Number of Influencers: 49
The city with the highest number of top influencers in 2023 is Los Angeles, California. LA is well known as a creative hub for entertainment, music, film, and TV. It’s also home to some of the biggest influencers in the world, including Bella Poarch, Addison Rae, and formerly Charli D’Amelio, who now resides in Connecticut.
2. London, UK
Number of Influencers: 15
London has the second-highest number of 2023’s biggest influencers, totalling 15. The English capital city is home to some of the biggest brands in the UK, making it easier for established and budding influencers to collaborate with creators. Some of the biggest influencer names in London include KSI and the Sidemen, Amelia Dimoldenburg and Maddie Jepson.
3. Miami, Florida
Number of Influencers: 6
The city which is home to the joint-third-highest number of 2023’s biggest influencers is Miami, Florida. The city of Miami has a rich and diverse culture and some huge brands as it is a major US city with plenty of collaboration opportunities. Influencers that currently reside there include Lele Pons, Jake Paul, and Alix Earle famously filmed her college vlogs in the city.
3. New York City, New York
Number of Influencers: 6
Sharing third place for the biggest influencer hotspots, we have New York City, with six of 2023’s biggest influencers residing in the Big Apple. New York City is a cultural and economic center of the world; as such, there are plenty of opportunities for culture, fashion and beauty influencers in the city. Some influencers in New York City include Tefi, Makeup by Mario and Olivia Palermo.
US state influencer hotspots
Number of Influencers 2021: 207,290
California is the state that comes out with the most influencers as of 2021, with more than 200,000. With California being home to the city of Los Angeles, where many influencers and content creators tend to be based, this should come as little surprise.
2. New York
Number of Influencers 2021: 104,829
Coming in second place is the state of New York, in which there are just under 105,000 influencers residing, around half of California’s total. New York has the big attraction of New York City, a massive cultural center with an aesthetic lifestyle, and many big companies, making it attractive for influencers.
Number of Influencers 2021: 94,396
A bit over 90,000 influencers are based in Florida as of 2021, making it the third-largest influencer hotspot state in the US. Florida, known as the Sunshine State, offers a lifestyle that is ideal for influencers and content creators.
The influencer niches with the highest average followers in 2023
Average Followers: 60.6M
Music is the most favorable niche or category for influencers wanting a large following. Looking at our list of top influencers, creators who post musical content have just under 61 million followers on average. Some of the biggest influencers in this niche include Riyaz Aly, Spencer X, and Loren Gray. The use of trending audio sounds on TikTok and the duet feature help creators in this category garner high engagement through their content.
Average Followers: 57.7M
The niche with the second-highest number of followers amongst 2023’s biggest influencers, on average, is entertainment, with almost 58 million followers. The category is broad, and some of the influencers in this category include MrBeast, Zach King, and Addison Rae.
Average Followers: 49.1M
As with celebrities, the fascination with famous influencers means that followers hope to get a glimpse into their lives. Vloggers, who film video logs of their life experiences, have the third-highest average following, with just over 49 million among the top influencers of this year. Some of the biggest influencers in this niche include Ria Ricis, Charli D’Amelio, and Kimberly Loaiza.
The influencer niches with the highest average earnings in 2023
Average Earnings: $258.0K
The influencers that tend to make the most money on average are entertainment influencers, earning around $258,000 for each TikTok video or sponsored Instagram post. With such a broad category, creators have wider opportunities for collaborations and sponsorships and can appeal to diverse audiences.
Average Earnings: $236.2K
On average, the influencer niche with the second-highest earnings per post is vlogger influencers, who can earn up to a little over $236,000. Creators are often seen incorporating branded products into their vlogs or using their organic vlog content to bring viewers to a sponsored video.
Average Earnings: $215.4K
Influencers in the music category tend to make the third-most money on average per post, at around $215,400, among 2023’s top influencers on TikTok and Instagram.
Influencer niches over time 2020-2023
Similarly, niches and categories will change for influencers over the years, much more than hotspots, as trends are fickle and ever-shifting. Beauty, for example, was somewhat established in 2020 and 2021 before disappearing among top influencers in 2022 and finally making a comeback in 2023, as 18.4% of top influencers operate in this niche.
Music and vlogs, previously on top for niches from 2020 to 2022, have fallen in 2023. Just 3.68% of the top influencers in our list are in the music niche, and 7.98% are vloggers. Whilst there are fewer top creators in the music niche, those who have succeeded can find it to be one of the most lucrative categories.
To begin with, we accumulated a list of 2023’s top influencers using lists such as The Rolling Stones’ “The 20 Most Influential Creators Right Now”, Forbes’ “Top Creators 2023,” and Hootsuite’s “Top Influencers in 2023: Who to Watch and Why They’re Great” and Search Engine Journal’s “The Top 100 Social Media Influencers Worldwide”.
We then sourced their follower counts on their TikTok and Instagram accounts to determine the most followed influencers in 2023. We then used the In Beat Instagram Money Calculator and the TikTok Money Calculator to determine the estimated combined earnings of each influencer per post they make.
We also used a variety of each influencer’s content and articles to determine which city they’re based in. This allowed us to determine the influencer hotspots in 2023.
Similarly, we also used articles and their content to determine what category or niche influencers operated in, which allowed us to determine the most popular niches for influencers in 2023. We calculated the average following for each niche using the counts of our list of top influencers from 2023. We then also calculated the average earnings for each niche, using the estimated earnings for each 2023 influencer’s TikTok posts and sponsored Instagram posts.
We used Heepsy to take the US states with the highest number of influencers as of 2021, this study analyzed approximately 577,000 Instagram influencers. This allowed us to determine which US states are influencer hotspots.
Lastly, we used Social Blade’s “Top 100 Subscribed Youtube Channels” and “Top 50 Most Followed Tiktok Accounts” in combination with the Wayback Machine to get the top influencers from those pages in 2020, 2021 and 2022. We then searched for which niche they operated in to determine how the most popular influencer niches have changed from 2020-2023.