Get ready for a new breed of up and coming U.S. influencers. The next generation of emerging influencers can be defined in three ways:
1. They’re turning their backs on perfection in favor of messy and sometimes unflattering posts or videos.
2. Influencers prefer creating content across multiple platforms to increase their social media numbers.
3. They prefer building their own consumer brands rather than solely relying on brand deals.
Marketers say they want to take more risks and partner with edgier U.S. influencers, according to Forbes.com. Luckily, there’s a growing pool of controversial and unorthodox influencers. They range from mega-influencers with millions of followers to micro-influencers (1K to 100K followers) and nano-influencers (less than 1K followers) with hyper-dedicated audiences.
We’ve researched the top 25 new-generation U.S. influencers across all categories from beauty to food. You’ll find them in descending order of the total number of Instagram and YouTube followers added together. Some micro-influencers on this list don’t have YouTube followers yet, but watch for their rise.
1. James Charles
@jamescharles – 16m – Instagram followers, 16.4M – YouTube followers
32.4M social media followers: rising as one of the hottest beauty and makeup influencers in the U.S.
2. Nikkie De Jager
12M Instagram followers and 11.8M YouTube followers totaling 23.8M social media followers: posts real-life results of using everyday makeup, plus she throws in a lot of cool makeup effects.
4M Instagram followers and 15.3M YouTube followers totaling 19.3M social media followers: comedic content.
1.7M Instagram followers and 13.5M YouTube followers totaling 15.2M social media followers: focuses on vivid, colorful content with pranks and challenges.
5. Emma Chamberlain
7.3M Instagram followers and 6.6M YouTube followers totaling 13.9M social media followers: teen posting lifestyle content and her brand of merchandise.
6. Tanner Fox
4M Instagram followers and 8.7M YouTube followers totaling 12.7M social media followers: teen obsessed with making car videos with friends.
7. Nikki Bella
She’s a survivor of anorexia and now proud of her curves. She looks a lot happier and healthier at her current weight.
8. Karina Garcia
1.1M Instagram followers and 8.9M YouTube followers totaling 10M social media followers: a California crafter with a bubbly, down-to-earth personality known for making slime.
9. Anwar Jibawi
6.1M Instagram followers and 1.6M YouTube followers totaling 7.7M social media followers: funny content with friends plus own branded merchandise.
10. Tana Mongeau
3.3M Instagram followers and 4M YouTube followers totaling 7.3M social media followers: raunchy and imperfect content and commentary on her lifestyle.
11. Romeo Lacoste
2M Instagram followers and 1M YouTube followers totaling 3M social media followers: tattoo artist in Los Angeles with shop.
12. Molly Burke
745K Instagram followers and 1.8M YouTube followers totaling 2.5M social media followers: Molly is completely blind but lives an inspiring, rich life that she documents on social media.
13. Joanna Ceddia
443K Instagram followers and 2.1M YouTube followers totaling 2.5M social media followers: real-life posts featuring her signature messy hairdos, starting her own brand of merchandise.
14. Jazzy Anne
5K Instagram followers and 1.1M YouTube followers totaling 1.6M social media followers: real-life posts and videos of her living life.
15. Beau Brown
75.8K Instagram followers and 300K YouTube followers totaling 375.8K social media followers: 7-foot tall videographer posts humorous accounts about his life and fitness regimen as an extraordinarily tall man.
16. Sarah Peretz
22.9K Instagram followers and 71K YouTube followers totaling 93.9K social media followers: known as the Los Angeles “hair chameleon” posting all about color.
Certified yoga instructor in New York City posting wellness and yoga content.
18. Louis Polo
76.4K Instagram followers and 570 YouTube followers totaling 77K social media followers: fashion forward content for men.
19. Crosby Tailor
76K Instagram followers and no YouTube yet: fitness and health and wellness influencer all over YouTube as a guest on other channels.
20. Maria Astor
54.9K Instagram followers and 18.5K YouTube followers totaling 73.4K social media followers: former Google employee now posting accessible, fun tech content.
21. Georgie Morley
64.3K Instagram followers and no Youtube yet: Massachusetts-based personal growth, wellness influencer and founder of Chasing Joy podcast.
22. Joy Green
64.2K Instagram followers and no YouTube yet: Houston-based mommy blogger popular for her relatable content
23. Hee Jin L
49.4K Instagram followers and no YouTube yet: San Francisco Bay Area foodie and recipe developer.
31.4K Instagram followers and 17.3K YouTube followers totaling 48.7K social media followers: health, wellness and beauty influencer.
25. Austin and Alex
27.8K Instagram followers and no YouTube yet: documents eclectic interior design style and personal home transformation projects.
Rising influencers become popular because they promise their followers new content either daily or every other day. They may stay under the radar for several years, then they spike in popularity as they grow the number of authentic posts and videos.