In celebration of its fifth birthday today, Instagram released a list of its top five accounts for the first time. Taylor Swift (who had previously been confirmed as the photo-sharing app's most popular user) has 49.6 million followers — which comes out to just over 12 percent of Instagram's 400 million global users.
Filling out the top five, the undisputed queen of selfies, Kim Kardashian, has 48.1 million, Beyoncé has 47.2 million, Selena Gomez has 45.9 million, and Ariana Grande has 44.6 million. All five of the top accounts belong to women, and four of those women are pop stars.
These rankings are fairly unsurprising, given that Instagram is often acknowledged as a female-dominated social medium. Instagram's head of global creative programs, Charles Porch, told Reuters that these pop-cultural icons draw followers because they post updates that are "authentic and oftentimes really fun," and that "it's a view people haven't really had before, especially in real time."
(As someone who likes almost nothing about Taylor Swift but loves watching videos of Taylor Swift's cats — confirmed.)
Porch also emphasizes that the direct line of communication between superstar and fan allows for these women, who are so often placed in an unforgiving spotlight, to "[control] their message."
Beyoncé, for one, has stopped giving interviews altogether, appearing on the covers of both Vogue and New York Times Magazine in the past year without providing a single quote. Beyoncé fans who main-line her Instagram account are kept abreast of her vacation shenanigans, her friendship with the First Lady, and of course, crucial excerpts from the childhood of future megastar Blue Ivy.