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Online Trends

Published November 10th 2016

React: The Most Influential Men and Women on Twitter 2016

The Brandwatch React team delves into some influencer data to determine the most influential men and women on Twitter. Find out who gets the top spot.

All Twitter accounts are created equal, but not all Twitter accounts are run by Katy Perry.

Twitter is a vast web of social spiders and working out which ones with the sharpest fangs and ability to catch the most bugs is the challenge.

Identifying influencers on social media got easier when we released our new tool, Audiences. It can analyze bio, tweet or demographic information to identify accounts with a strong influence in both niche conversations and wider debates.

This can be handy if you’re a CPG brand looking for food influencers or a music label looking for fans accounts that unlock the audiences you’re looking to target. (You can read more about the wonderful things you can do with it here).

The Brandwatch React team decided to put Audiences to the test to determine who are the most influential men and women on the whole of Twitter.

Will Trump beat Obama? Will Adele beat JLo? You’re about to find out.


Audiences determines an influence score by looking at a number of factors from follower – following ratio, ability to generate engagement and the number of influential people they interact with.

Brandwatch uses a vast database of names to understand the gender of the person behind the account. Where the algorithm isn’t sure it doesn’t assign a gender.

So, this research incorporates accounts’ gender categorization and influencer score to rank the most influential men and the most influential women on Twitter.

The 10 most influential men on Twitter

Starting with the boys, we’ve got a whole range of big names in the running.

Actors, comedians, politicians, tech giants and sportsmen competed for the title but it was Justin Bieber who took number one.


The 10 most influential women on Twitter

Moving on to the ladies, we’ve got another interesting mix of people – musicians, politicians, talk-show hosts, actresses…

It’s Jennifer Lopez who made it to top spot, though.


A closer look at each list

Here you can take a look at the follower counts and influencer scores of the 15 most influential men and women. Where influencer scores are the same we’ve ranked people with a larger following higher.

Name Twitter handle Follower count Influencer score
Justin Bieber @justinbieber 89.4M 96
Barack Obama @BarackObama 79M 95
Justin Timberlake @jtimberlake 57.1M 95
Kanye West @kanyewest 26.4M 95
Zayn Malik @zaynmalik 20.3M 95
Donald Trump @realdonaldtrump 14.1M 95
Cristiano Ronaldo @cristiano 48M 94
Jimmy Fallon @jimmyfallon 43.4M 94
Bill Gates @BillGates 31.7M 94
Kevin Hart @KevinHart4real 31.3M 94
Harry Styles @Harry_Styles 29.5M 94
Niall Horan @NiallOfficial 27.6M 94
Amitabh Bachchan @SrBachchan 23.2M 94
Louis Tomlinson @Louis_Tomlinson 23.4M 94
Marshall Mathers @Eminem 20.8M 94


Name Twitter handle Follower count Influencer score
Jennifer Lopez @JLo 37.9M 96
Katy Perry @katyperry 94M 95
Selena Gomez @selenagomez 46M 95
Shakira @shakira 41.4M 95
Demi Lovato @ddlovato 39.5M 95
Oprah Winfrey @oprah 34.7M 95
Haruka Nakagawa @HarukaN_JKT48 1.23M 95
Ellen Degeneres @TheEllenShow 63.2M 94
Britney Spears @britneyspears 48.7M 94
Adele @Adele 27.3M 94
Hillary Clinton @HillaryClinton 10.8M 94
Ariana Grande @ArianaGrande 42.6M 93
Alicia Keys @aliciakeys 24.2M 93
Emma Watson @EmmaWatson 23.2M 93
Nicki Minaj @NICKIMINAJ 20.7M 93

What can we learn from the most influential men and women on Twitter?

Firstly, music is the path to go down if you’d like to gain a huge following. Of the thirty most influential men and women there were 19 people with a musical career, with a slightly higher proportion of musicians in the female list.

Secondly, Hillary Clinton doesn’t make the top 10 most influential women. We’ve previously found that Republican influencers are slightly more influential than Democratic influencers according to the criteria we use. Assuming Trump generates the same levels of engagement Obama does as President we should expect him to climb further up the male list in the coming months and years.

Finally, having a big following doesn’t necessarily mean you’re more influential – JLo’s meagre 37.9m followers don’t match up to Katy Perry’s 94m but Lopez’s tweets generate enough quality engagement to boost her influence score above Perry’s.

Who would you like to see top of each list next year?

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? We have plenty more. Email us [email protected] for more information

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