How Big Is the World of Influencers? Brand-new Data!

Researchers from mediakix.com recently conducted a market study that allowed them to determine the actual number of influencers on each social media platform. Because we, here at Brybe.com, think this data is a piece of extremely important and useful information, we have prepared an article for you that summarizes this knowledge. Enjoy your reading!

Instagram Data

Number of Influencers

Instagram Influencers SizeTable
Image courtesy of Mediakix.com

52% of Instagram users have less than 1,000 followers (meaning 48% of Instagram users have 1,001+ followers). Instagram has historically been vague on its user data including DAU, MAU, and total users – however, most data firms and social reporting companies agree that Instagram likely has upwards of 500 million daily active users.

Taking Instagram’s 500 million users, accounting for users with 1,001+ followers (48%), then projecting influencer ratio from the top 1,000 Instagram account analysis (35%), a broad ceiling range of 83 million potential Instagram users can be determined.

But when comparing this ceiling estimation to data collected by multiple influencer marketing platforms, the total number of Instagram influencers (with over 1,000 followers) was from 8.7 million to 69 million – and with credibility-checker filters applied, the influencer search results became limited to 176,000 and 37 million, respectively.

Tier Distribution

Instagram Influencer Tier Distribution
Image courtesy of Mediakix.com

Tier data was determined based on multiple influencer marketing platform’s provided tier data. The percentage across each tier was first averaged.

YouTube Data

YouTube Influencers Size
Image courtesy of Mediakix.com

Following the estimation, there are over 37 million active YouTube accounts – 32 million of which have under 1,000 subscribers. This data deduces that there are 5 million remaining active YouTube accounts with over 1,000 subscribers, but it does not distinguish “active accounts” from influencer accounts. In order to better determine how many of the 5 million accounts are potential influencer accounts, the top 1,000 YouTube accounts have been analyzed – to find that YouTube influencers represent around 30% of the top 1,000 channels, publishers/brands/networks around 47%, and musicians and celebrities 22%.

Based on these findings there can be determined that the total number of YouTube influencers is less than 5 million, and closer to 1.5 million.

Tier Distribution

YouTube Influencer Tier Distribution
Image courtesy of Mediakix.com

Using multiple influencer marketing platforms provided tier data, each platform’s tier percentage has been averaged – and thus YouTube influencer tier distribution determined.

TikTok Data

TikTok Influencers Size
Image courtesy of Mediakix.com

There are over 43,000 TikTok influencers in the database of the chosen influencer marketing platform. Using credibility checking tools on two other TikTok influencer marketing platforms the average range of TikTok influencers with 1,000+ followers has been pinpointed to 50,000.

Given that the chosen platforms are likely using third-party tools to scrape influencer data and not TikTok’s official API, prioritizing credibility was the best approach in this instance, and so the high range of TikTok influencers to be 50,000 has been conservatively estimated.

Tier Distribution

TikTok Influencer Tier Distribution
Image courtesy of Mediakix.com

The above tier data was determined based on a single influencer marketing platform’s provided tier data. Currently, TikTok has not granted official access to their API, meaning companies must go through non-official channels to collect user data. In turn, this has caused many influencer marketing platforms to have partial or missing TikTok influencer tier data.

Influencer's Overlapping

influencer overlap social image
Image courtesy of Mediakix.com

For the influencers listed on the 1,000 highest followed accounts for Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube: 90% of all influencers who make a top 1,000 account list do so for one platform only (TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube); 5.3% of all influencers who make a top 1,000 account list, do so for TikTok and Instagram (and not YouTube); 2.4% of all influencers who make a top 1,000 account list, are on all three platform’s top 1,000 account lists (TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube); 1.3% of all influencers who make a top 1,000 account list, do so for Instagram and YouTube (and not TikTok); and 0.7% of all influencers who make a top 1,000 account list, do so for TikTok and YouTube (and not Instagram).

Conclusions

The number of influencers in the world stands somewhere between 3.2M to 37.8M.

Combining the estimated range data for TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube leads to a total range estimation of 3.5 million to 42 million – yet this still has to be adjusted by the influencer overlap between platforms, thus 10% of influencers from the total estimation can be removed (even though the overlap percentage between the three platforms is likely much higher).

Methodology and Considerations

Methodology

In order to determine how many influencers exist in the world, researchers had to:

  1. Determine a viable methodology to account for influencers across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
  2. Establish parameters and account for duplication of influencers across platforms.

To sort how many influencers exist across each social media platform, they have used the established influencer tiers – determining how many influencers exist on a given platform for each one of them. In effect, the study determined how many influencers are there on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok – and how many of them do exist in each of these established tiers. These groups were identified by leveraging the influencer, platform, and influencer tier data from multiple different influencer marketing platforms in addition to their own internal database. What is more, to determine “influencer overlap” (which stands for counting the same influencers across more than one of these platforms), the top 1,000 influencer channels across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok were assessed (excluding brand, celebrity, non-influencer accounts) from additional studies.

Considerations

While influencer marketing platforms attempt to vet and measure influencers in their database for inauthentic or fraudulent activity, “fake influencers” still exist on their behalf. Influencer authenticity can be easily sacrificed or overlooked – especially on larger influencer marketing platforms. During this evaluation, a broad range of information between third-party estimates and influencer marketing databases has been noticed – this is partially why the total number of influencers is best given as estimated ranges. Influencers in the given study have been determined by the criteria of being social media users with over 1,000 followers/subscribers who engage an audience through their content. What is more, they have been chosen of all age, nationality, language preference, and creator category – focused on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok influencers.

All data, images, graphs, and calculations used in this article are courtesy of mediakix.com.