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10 most influential people on Twitter: Only one CEO among them

·3-min read
Photo collage of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, musician Lady Gaga, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Elon Musk is the only CEO to feature among last year's top 10, which is dominated by musicians and politicians. (Source: Getty)

The year 2022 might change the sway and fortunes of celebrities around the world, but before we look ahead, let's take stock of who wielded the most influence on Twitter last year.

Elon Musk's tweets have often sent the stock markets into a spin and affected cryptocurrency values around the world but, surprisingly, the world's richest man is not the most influential person on Twitter according to Brandwatch's annual ranking of the top 50 most influential people in 2021.

Musk is the only CEO who made it to the top 10 which is dominated by female musicians and television personalities. Two politicians and one sportsperson also feature among the top 10.

The pandemic-induced consumption of subscription services and streaming may have caused a shift in influence from politics in 2020 to entertainment in 2021 according to Brandwatch - a digital consumer intelligence company - which used its audiences to search for active tweeters with high influence.

The methodology lets audiences rank Twitter accounts according to a selection of criteria which, when aggregated, sums up their influence score. 

The score is based on the level of genuine engagement the influencers are creating over time. 

A large number of followers, retweets, and replies certainly add up, but the more influential the people they engage with, the better the score of the influencers.

Two accounts have been excluded from this ranking: @POTUS44, because it has been archived, and @FLOTUS, since it is being managed by White House staff.

Here's a look at the influencers from 10 to one.

Photo of Kim Kardashian at an event. (Source: Reuters)
Television personality Kim Kardashian has 70.3 million followers on Twitter. (Source: Reuters)

10. Kim Kardashian

Profession: Media personality

Handle: @KimKardashian

Followers: 70.3 million

Influence score: 95

Photo of Ellen DeGeneres. (Source: Reuters)
Ellen DeGeneres has 77.8 million followers on Twitter. (Source: Reuters)

9. Ellen DeGeneres

Profession: Television host

Handle: @TheEllenShow

Followers: 77.8 million

Influence score: 95

Photo of Lady Gaga. (Source: Getty)
Musician Lady Gaga has 83.8 million followers on Twitter. (Source:Getty)

8. Lady Gaga

Profession: Musician

Handle: @ladygaga

Followers: 83.8 million

Influence score: 95

Photo of Ariana Grande at the Met Gala. (Source: Reuters)
Singer Ariana Grande has 84.5 million followers on Twitter. (Source: Reuters)

7. Ariana Grande

Profession: Musician

Handle: @ArianaGrande

Followers: 84.5 million

Influence score: 95

Photo of Cristiano Ronaldo. (Source: Getty)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United has 94.6 million followers on Twitter. (Source: Getty)

6. Cristiano Ronaldo

Profession: Footballer

Handle: @Cristiano

Followers: 94.6 million

Influence score: 95

Photo of Barack Obama. (Source: Getty)
Former US president Barack Obama has 130.1 million followers on Twitter. (Source: Getty)

5. Barack Obama

Profession: Politician

Handle: @BarackObama

Followers: 130.1 million

Influence score: 95

Photo of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (Source: Reuters)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has 60.8 million followers on Twitter. (Source: Reuters)

4. Elon Musk 

Profession: Business

Handle: @elonmusk

Followers: 60.8 million

Influence score: 96

Photo of musician Katy Perry. (Source: Getty)
Katy Perry has 108.8 million followers on Twitter. (Source: Getty)

3. Katy Perry

Profession: Musician

Handle: @katyperry

Followers: 108.8 million

Influence score: 96

Photo of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Source: Reuters)
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has 72 million followers on Twitter. (Source: Reuters)

2. Narendra Modi

Profession: Politician

Handle: @narendramodi

Followers: 72 million

Influence score: 97

Photo of musician Taylor Swift. (Source: Reuters)
Singer Taylor Swift has 88.9 million followers on Twitter. (Source: Reuters)

1. Taylor Swift

Profession: Musician

Handle: @taylorswift13

Followers: 88.9 million

Influence score: 97

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