Social media millionaires: Meet the highest earners on Instagram

Social Media


Buzz Bingo recently looked at the data and crunched the numbers to rank celebrities on Instagram by their annual average earnings from the social media platform. The bigger the audience, the bigger the earnings.

Other than Selena Gomez, an American singer, the list contains mostly football players and several members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Surprisingly, Kim Kardashian didn’t make the Top 10 list.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 187 million followers give him an enormous reach and companies pay up to $1 million for a single post on his account. He makes approximately $47.8m per year. (That’s R718 362 300.00 per year)

To put it in perspective, that’s more money than he makes playing football at Juventus, with an annual salary of $34m. In second place is Lionel Messi, earning about $23.3 per post (R350 164 050.00; at the time of publishing with an exchange rate of $1 = R15.03.)

Top 10 earners on Instagram

10. Khloé Kardashian

Khloé Kardashian, a socialite and media personality, made it to the bottom of the list with an Instagram income of just over $1.2m. She has 99.8m followers on Instagram. Like her sisters Kim and Kourtney, she’s mostly active in fashion and retail industries.

Khloé is also the founder of DASH, Kardashian Glow and Good American, the latter being a fashion brand she co-created with Emme Grede. The brand carries jeans, active wear, dresses and bodysuits.

9. Ronaldinho

The 39-year-old former professional football player and Barcelona ambassador earns approximately $2.6m from his Instagram presence. Other than his football career and Instagram income, Ronaldinho is also one of the world’s highest-paid players.

Ronaldinho – who has 49.3m Instagram followers – earned more than $19m in from endorsements in 2006, was featured in EA Sports’ FIFA series and signed a 10-year deal with Nike at the start of his career.

8. Kylie Jenner

Despite Jenner’s net worth of $1 billion – making her the youngest billionaire in the world – her Instagram income is only $3.8; she has 150m Instagram followers. Jenner has achieved unparalleled success in the beauty industry thought her business.

Just four years in the industry, and Kylie Cosmetics maintains its reputation as an individually funded and self-run company. Jenner’s company generated $420m in revenue during its first 18 months.

7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

With an Instagram income of $4m, the Swedish professional footballer secured the 7th spot on Buzz Bingo’s Top 10 list. He began his career in 1999 with Malmo FF, and signed for Ajax in 2001.

Ibrahimovic is active on social media and has more than 39m Instagram followers.

6. Neymar Jr

The Brazilian professional footballer plays as a forward for French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Brazil national team. He has an Instagram following of around 128m, and earns $7.2m on the platform.

Neymar Jr. also ranks among the world’s most prominent sportsmen, with SportsPro naming him the most marketable athlete in the world in 2012 and 2013.

5. Selena Gomez

Gomez is an American singer, songwriter, actress and executive producer with an Instagram following of 159m. She earned about $8 through sponsored posts per year.

Other than music, Gomez also ventured into the TV industry and was the executive producer of Netflix’s docu-series Living Undocumented.

4. David Beckham

The former professional footballer and current president of Inter Miami CF earns about $10.7 through Instagram posts; thanks to his growing following on the platform of about 58.9m.

Outside of football, Beckham is also known as somewhat of a fashion icon, and released a line of fragrances and aftershave products called David Beckham Instinct. He has a net worth of $450m.

3. Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner is Kylie Jenner’s older sister. She made her debut on Forbes’ 2015 list of top-earning models with an estimate annual income of $4 million. At the time, she was also named the world’s highest-paid model.

Kendall has an Instagram following of 118m and earns approximately $15.9m through sponsored posts on Instagram.

2. Lionel Messi

Coming into second place is professional footballer Lionel Messi, who plays as a forward and captains both Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina national team.

He has more than 134m followers on Instagram and earns about $23.3m through sponsored posts on Instagram.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Buzz Bingo found that Ronaldo earned $47.8m from sponsored Instagram posts over the past year, making him Instagram’s highest earner. Due to his incredible reach on Instagram, some companies willing to fork over nearly $1 million per post.

Cristiano is very active on Instagram. Since signing up, he has shared more than 2 600 posts with his 188m followers.

Here’s how to check your own Instagram potential

Curious about your Instagram potential? Buzz Bingo has a nifty widget on their site to calculate how much you could earn per post, based on your audience.

I have a combined 1048 followers across my personal and business account – I’m sure that’s not allowed, and it’s based on followers per account, but let’s not get technical – which means I could earn $37.89 per sponsored post.