Lifestyle

Who has the most followers on TikTok and how do people make money on it?


The D’Amelio sisters (Charli (L) and Dixie (R)) and Spencer X are some of TikTok’s reigning champs. (Picture: Getty)

TikTok has enjoyed unprecedented success since its international launch in September 2017.

It was previously Musical.ly, an app which allowed users to lip-sync to 15-second audio tracks, before it was bought by ByteDance in 2017.

The video sharing service is the go-to app for tweens across the world – but beyond the viral video challenges and celebrity lip syncs there’s some serious earning potential on the platform.

Which is no surprise really, seeing as it is used by more than one billion people each month.

So, who has the most followers on TikTok and who are the app’s biggest earners?

More important: how do people make so much money on it?!

Who has the most followers on TikTok?

At time of writing, the top followed TikTok accounts are:

  • Charli D’Amelio, the 16-year-old is TikTok’s top account, with 126.7 million followers.
  • Khabame (Khaby) Lame, the Sengalese jokester who mocks people’s life hacks videos, has quickly amassed 117.1 million followers, making him the second most popular TikTokker.
  • Addison Rae, the 20-year-old actress/dancer/friend of the Kardashians is the third-most followed account, with 85.2 million followers.
  • Bella Poarch, is the fourth-most followed account. The 24-year-old Filipino-American has 84.3 million followers and has released her own single off the back of her TikTok success.
  • Zach King, a famous illusionist, has amassed 66 million followers. The 31-year-old started out with Vine and has capitalised since then.
  • Will Smith might have had a head start on kids starting out as unknowns, but the Fresh Prince actor, 52, has 62.4 million followers.
  • TikTok itself has 57.9 million followers.
  • Dixie D’Amelio, 19, is the elder sister of TikTok’s reigning queen, Charli. With 55.3 million followers, Dixie has her own healthy following.
  • Spencer Polanco Knight (aka Spencer X), 29, has beatboxed his way to become one of the most-followed accounts. The beatboxer has 55 million followers.
  • Loren Gray, once the most-followed account on the app, this 19-year-old might have slipped to seventh place with 54.1 million followers but she has launched her own music career.  
  • Michael Le, 20, has amassed more than 50.9 million followers through his exciting choreography.
  • Jason Derulo is another name that many would be familiar with before social media, but the singer has managed to draw in 50.3 million fans on the app.

How do people make money on TikTok?

Hundreds of millions now use TikTok (Picture: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images)

When scrolling the app, it’s not immediately clear how people make money through their videos, but there are big opportunities for influencers to monetise their content through sponsorship deals.

Similar to Instagram, brands pay influencers to promote their products and music through via their video skits.

It’s a particularly powerful platform for labels and musicians because of its focus on music.

Influencers simply need to use the song in their background of their video, and viewers can click through to the artist directly.

While content creators should disclose when posts are paid for using #ad, the space is currently less regulated than Instagram.

Influencers can also create and promote their own products via their channels – including TV shows, make-up lines and books.

Top 10 earners on TikTok

The highest number of followers doesn’t always mean the highest number of dollars in the bank.

According to RaveReviews who use a formula which takes into account follower count and engagements, these are the TikTokers with the highest earning potential, as well as what they could earn per post:

  • Michael Le — $20,378,000
  • Charli D’Amelio — $18,224,000
  • Addison Rae — $14,722,500
  • Joe Albanese — $8,711,000
  • Avani Gregg — $6,798,000
  • Kira Kosarin — $6,651,500
  • Dixie D’Amelio — $6,534,000
  • Loren Gray — $5,355,000
  • Q Park — $5,224,500
  • Spencer X — $3,577,000

It’s not just these top earners cashing in either. One 17-year-old from Essex revealed he was pulling in £5,000 per week in brand deals on the app.

Career change, anyone?


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