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Published November 2nd 2021

Brandwatch’s 50 Most Influential People on Twitter 2021

2021 is almost over. But before we head into 2022, it’s time for our annual ranking of Brandwatch's top 50 most influential people on Twitter.

Every year, we use Brandwatch’s Audiences to identify and rank our top 50 most influential people on Twitter. 

Amid the COVID-19 lockdowns across the world, social media use has changed dramatically. Has anything changed in influence rankings in the last 12 months? Read on to find out who tops our list of the most influential people on Twitter.

Methodology

We used Brandwatch Audiences to search for active tweeters with high influence. Audiences ranks Twitter accounts according to a selection of criteria that, added together, create their influence score. This is our measure of how influential an account is over time, based on the level of genuine engagement they are creating.

While large numbers of followers, retweets, and replies will help, the more influential the people they engage with, the better the score. 

The following two accounts were excluded from our ranking:

@FLOTUS – due to the account being managed by the White House staff 

@POTUS44 – this account has been archived.

Let’s dig in.

Here’s the list, ranked according to influencer score:

Brandwatch’s most influential people on Twitter 2021

Brandwatch’s most influential people on Twitter 2021

Source: Brandwatch Audiences

Findings

What’s changed since our 2020 list? 

Movers and shakers

Six users moved out, and two were removed. We excluded Mac Miller who passed away in 2018, and former President Donald Trump whose account was suspended. 

Here are the influencers who didn’t make Brandwatch’s 50 Most Influential People on Twitter 2021:

  • The Weeknd (dropped off from #30)
  • Mashi Rafael (dropped off from #36)
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (dropped off from #37)
  • Alyssa Milano (dropped off from #38)
  • Iggy Azalea (dropped off from #46)
  • Kevin Hart (dropped off from #47)

This year, these shakers replaced them:

  • Nick Jonas
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Beyonce
  • Liam Payne
  • Louis Tomlinson
  • Sachin Tendulkar
  • Bruno Mars
  • Takafumi Horie

Influential professions

For the second year in a row, ‘musician’ appears to be the most influential profession on the platform, with 54% of the ranked influencers falling under this category. 

‘Television host’ is the second most influential profession on Twitter, with 12% of our top 50 influencers in this category.

Business, sports, and politicians each accounted for 6% of the ranked influencers’ professions. Unlike last year, only two politicians appeared in the top 10: Barack Obama and Narendra Modi.

Our data suggested that home-bound consumers sought to cope with the pandemic-inflicted stress by distracting themselves with subscription services and streaming, which we think may have caused this shift in influence from politics in 2020 to entertainment in 2021. 

Demographic breakdown of the influencers

Among the 50 identified influencers, 61% are male and 39% female, with the majority (67%) based in the United States, followed by Brazil (13%).

We also looked into conversation insights from the top 50 influencers, and three themes dominated the discussions: pop culture, style/fashion/body art, and sports, with the last one accounting for 35.8% of all conversations. 

Wrapping up

Thanks for reading this year’s report on the most influential people on Twitter.

If you’re interested in learning more about influencer discovery, especially when looking for micro-influencers in niche sectors, check out Brandwatch Audiences by clicking below.

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