Between them, they have 250 million social media followers. Some can make as much as $300,000 per YouTube video. Others have Instagram audiences greater than the population of New York City.
Meet the inaugural members of Forbes’ Top Influencers list, featuring power players from around the world who’ve turned platforms on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook into fortunes and empires.
Standouts on this first list include British beauty vlogger Zoe Sugg, the queen of the YouTube makeup tutorial; the Internet’s foremost fitness mogul Kayla Itsines; and Design*Sponge’s Grace Bonney, who turned an interiors blog into a lucrative business.
This first group is a diverse bunch, based in eight different countries and ranging in age from early twenties through late forties. The list skews young and female: of these 30 digital stars, 24 are women, and most are millennials.
Get the full list here.
Forbes partnered with influencer analytics firm Traackr, using their proprietary data to measure reach, or audience size; resonance, or propensity for virality; and relevance, or engagement related to their area of expertise.
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With the help of social insight platform Captiv8, we weighted each candidate’s potential for earnings per post according to the size of their following. We also reviewed their endorsements and other business generated offline, like product lines and book deals.
We only included influencers who made it big by building their fame from the internet up, rather than established celebrities who also happen to have large audiences online. This is why you don’t see any Kardashian-Jenners on the Beauty list, or Jillian Michaels leading Fitness.
Forbes limited its scope to influencers who mostly post in English. Social audience data is accurate as of Feb. 2017.