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Harry and Meghan, AOC, Donald Trump land on Time list of 25 most influential people on the internet

President Donald Trump, Lil Nas X, James Charles, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and the man who created an Instagram for a record-breaking egg have topped Time Magazine’s fifth-annual list of the most influential people on the internet. 

Time released the unranked list on Tuesday after evaluating contenders based on ‘their global impact on social media and their overall ability to drive news’.  

This year’s influencers include members of the Hollywood elite, musicians, politicians, journalists and a few figures who rose to fame via social media alone.  

Two are veterans of the list – Trump and South Korean boyband BTS – but rest are fresh faces.  

Scroll down to see who you should be following. 

Donald Trump – President of the United States

Unsurprisingly, President Trump landed on Time’s list for the fourth year in a row.

He increased his Twitter presence over the past year and is now followed by a stunning 20 percent of US adults, according to the Pew Research Center. 

Trump is known for posting strings of back-to-back tweets about whatever is on his mind – including policy announcements and attacks on his rivals. 

His record for most posts in one day came on May 1, when he tweeted 84 times. 

President Trump landed on Time’s list of Most Influential People on the Internet for the fourth year in a row. He increased his Twitter presence over the past year and is now followed by a stunning 20 percent of US adults, according to the Pew Research Center

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – Duke and Duchess of Sussex 

New parents Harry and Meghan have over nine million followers on their @SussexRoyal social media, with posts ranging from their work life to photos of their baby boy Archie. 

Time praised the couple’s ‘forward thinking’ approach to the platform, noting how the account rotates the users it followers in a bid to highlight advocates and organizations on topics like climate change and mental health.

Both of the Sussexes have their own independent Instagram followings as well.  

New parents Harry and Meghan have over nine million followers on their @SussexRoyal social media, with posts ranging from their work life to photos of their baby boy Archie

New parents Harry and Meghan have over nine million followers on their @SussexRoyal social media, with posts ranging from their work life to photos of their baby boy Archie

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – New York Democratic Congresswoman

Freshman firebrand ‘AOC’ prides herself on being 100 percent authentic in her social media presence, frequently sharing her policy stances with her nearly five million Twitter followers and inviting supporters to cook dinner with her via Instagram Live.  

Weeks after she was sworn in as a the youngest congresswoman in US history, Ocasio-Cortez co-hosted a session for her peers about social media best practices – a topic most politicians are not well-versed on.  

Freshman firebrand 'AOC' prides herself on being 100 percent authentic in her social media presence, frequently sharing her policy stances with her nearly five million Twitter followers and inviting supporters to cook dinner with her via Instagram Live

Freshman firebrand ‘AOC’ prides herself on being 100 percent authentic in her social media presence, frequently sharing her policy stances with her nearly five million Twitter followers and inviting supporters to cook dinner with her via Instagram Live

Lil Nas X – American rapper 

Born Montero Lamar Hill, Lil Nas X galloped onto the music scene late last year with his debut single ‘Old Town Road’, which inspired the viral ‘#yeehaw challenge’ on TikTok. 

The song became the center of a debate about perceived racism in the country music industry when it was removed from Billboard’s country chart in March after it hit number one.  

The rapper’s debut album 7 broke streaming records on Spotify and is continuing to climb the charts. 

Lil Nas X is highly active on Twitter, growing his fan base one meme at a time.  

‘For proof that viral fame can lead to bona-fide stardom, look no further than [this] Atlanta rapper,’ Time writes. 

Born Montero Lamar Hill, Lil Nas X galloped onto the music scene late last year with his debut single 'Old Town Road', which inspired the viral '#yeehaw challenge' on TikTok

Born Montero Lamar Hill, Lil Nas X galloped onto the music scene late last year with his debut single ‘Old Town Road’, which inspired the viral ‘#yeehaw challenge’ on TikTok

BTS – South Korean boyband 

Seven-strong K-pop squad BTS has been on Time’s Most Influential People on the Internet list for three years running, boasting an international, millions-strong fan base called ARMY.    

ARMY is known for voraciously consuming BTS content online, propelling the group to the top of Billboard’s Social Artist chart this year. 

BTS’ hit single ‘Boy With Luv’ broke the YouTube record for the most views in 24 hours, with 74.6 million hits when it was released in April.

Seven-strong K-pop squad BTS has been on Time's Most Influential People on the Internet list for three years running, boasting an international, millions-strong fan base called ARMY

Seven-strong K-pop squad BTS has been on Time’s Most Influential People on the Internet list for three years running, boasting an international, millions-strong fan base called ARMY

Rahaf Mohammed – Saudi Arabian activist

Rahaf Mohammed captured global attention in December after she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room in Bangkok in a bid to not be sent home to her family.

The 18-year-old said she was being oppressed by her family and took action to save her life, rallying approximately 45,000 followers in a single day as hashtag #SaveRahaf caught the attention of the UN refugee agency. She resettled to Canada in January.

‘Reasoning that she had “nothing to lose,” teenage runaway Rahaf Mohammed opened a Twitter account in January and catapulted her plight—and the status of Saudi women—onto the world stage,’ Time writes.

She now has more than 225,000 followers on Twitter, which she uses to raise awareness about the treatment of Saudi women. 

Rahaf Mohammed captured global attention in December after she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room in Bangkok in a bid to not be sent home to her family

Rahaf Mohammed captured global attention in December after she barricaded herself in an airport hotel room in Bangkok in a bid to not be sent home to her family

Ariana Grande – Grammy-winning artist 

Pop powerhouse Grande recently became Instagram’s most-followed musician with 159 million on that site and another 64.1 million on Twitter.  

Internet culture was at the center of her latest album, Thank U Next, which came out months after she released its Grammy-winning predecessor, Sweetener. 

Grande uses social media to connect with her sprawling fan base, giving them an authentic glimpse into her life during a difficult year in which she got engaged to Pete Davidson, lost her longtime ex Mac Miller and broke off her engagement in the span of a few months.  

Pop powerhouse Grande recently became Instagram’s most-followed musician with 159 million on that site and another 64.1 million on Twitter

Pop powerhouse Grande recently became Instagram’s most-followed musician with 159 million on that site and another 64.1 million on Twitter 

The School Strikers – Climate change activists

The so-called ‘schools strike for climate’ movement was sparked by Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old Swedish climate activist who rose to fame in 2018 for her weekly demonstrations outside of the Swedish parliament house.  

‘Over the last eleven months, students inspired by Thunberg and united worldwide by the #FridaysforFuture and #SchoolStrike4Climate hashtags have used social media to organize their own strikes drawing attention to adult inertia on tackling climate change and lowering carbon emissions,’ Time writes. 

An estimated 1.6 million people participated in strikes worldwide in March, organizers say. They are now calling for a global strike this September.  

The so-called 'schools strike for climate' movement was sparked by Greta Thunberg (center), a 15-year-old Swedish climate activist who rose to fame in 2018 for her weekly demonstrations outside of the Swedish parliament house

The so-called ‘schools strike for climate’ movement was sparked by Greta Thunberg (center), a 15-year-old Swedish climate activist who rose to fame in 2018 for her weekly demonstrations outside of the Swedish parliament house

Liza Koshy – Former Vine star, YouTube star, actress

Twenty-two-year-old Liza Koshy has a staggering 16.3 million YouTube followers and 2.5 million video views. 

She parlayed her internet fame into roles in Boo! A Madea Halloween and as the host of the new Double Dare, where she is also an executive producer.

She has some other fame-amplifying and money-making schemes going on: The star does ads for Beats Electronics, conducted interview for Vogue at the Met Gala, and has hosting gigs with MTV.

Time writes that Koshy’s star is still very much on the rise, as she is gearing up for a role in an Alicia Keys-produced comedy film.

Twenty-two-year-old Liza Koshy has a staggering 16.3 million YouTube followers and 2.5 million video views. She parlayed her internet fame into roles in Boo! A Madea Halloween and as the host of the new Double Dare, where she is also an executive producer

Twenty-two-year-old Liza Koshy has a staggering 16.3 million YouTube followers and 2.5 million video views. She parlayed her internet fame into roles in Boo! A Madea Halloween and as the host of the new Double Dare, where she is also an executive producer

Brian Kolfage – Air Force veteran behind ‘Build the Wall’ GoFundMe

Brian Kolfage, a 37-year-old Air Force veteran who was severely wounded in a 2004 rocket attack at an Iraq air base, losing both legs and one arm, launched a GoFundMe in December that raised more than $22million to build a wall at the southern US border.   

‘If you are sick and tired of watching politicians in both parties obstructing President Trump’s plan to build a wall on our southern border, then you’ve come to the right place,’ the campaign description said.  

Kolfage unfortunately fell short of his $1billion goal and began offering the more than 300,000 individual donors a chance to shift their support to another non-profit effort in January.  

However, the Purple Heart veteran remains committed to his efforts, telling Time: ‘From the day I was injured in Iraq to now, I know that no matter what the adversity is, no matter what people say, you can always just keep plugging along.’

Brian Kolfage, a 37-year-old Air Force veteran who was severely wounded in a 2004 rocket attack at an Iraq air base, losing both legs and one arm, launched a GoFundMe in December that raised more than $22million to build a wall at the southern US border

Brian Kolfage, a 37-year-old Air Force veteran who was severely wounded in a 2004 rocket attack at an Iraq air base, losing both legs and one arm, launched a GoFundMe in December that raised more than $22million to build a wall at the southern US border

James Charles – YouTube beauty vlogger

James Charles, who hails from Albany, New York, rose to international stardom in 2015 after launching his own YouTube channel.

He now has over 16million Instagram followers and YouTube subscribers and in 2016, he became the first male ambassador for CoverGirl. 

The 20-year-old made headlines in April when he became entangled in a heated feud with his former mentor, Tati Westbrook. 

Time writes: ‘The viral break-up of his friendship with former mentor and fellow beauty vlogger, Tati Westbrook, started as a niche feud over gummy bear supplement sponsorships and ballooned into a broader discussion about the dark side of influencers and “cancel culture”.’

James Charles, who hails from Albany, New York, rose to international stardom in 2015 after launching his own YouTube channel. He now has over 16million Instagram followers and YouTube subscribers and in 2016, he became the first male ambassador for CoverGirl

James Charles, who hails from Albany, New York, rose to international stardom in 2015 after launching his own YouTube channel. He now has over 16million Instagram followers and YouTube subscribers and in 2016, he became the first male ambassador for CoverGirl

Germán Garmendia – YouTube star

Germán Garmendia is one of the highest earners on YouTube and runs the site’s most-subscribed Spanish language channel at just 26 years old.   

The comedian has more than 30 million fans subscribed to his channel, where he also posts videos of his band Ancud.

The Chilean native has also released a book – titled  #Chupaelperro – and remains so popular a change in his hair color inspires countless articles. 

Germán Garmendia is one of the highest earners on YouTube and runs the site's most-subscribed Spanish language channel at just 26 years old

Germán Garmendia is one of the highest earners on YouTube and runs the site’s most-subscribed Spanish language channel at just 26 years old

Cardi B – American rapper

Cardi B’s meteoric rise began during her days as a stripper, when she built a social media personality on platforms like Instagram, where she now was 47 million followers. 

The star, who was born Belcalis Almanzar to a Dominican father and Trinidadian mother, has earned three number-one singles and raked in countless awards since releasing her first mixtape in 2016. 

She later became the first female to win the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album with her debut album Invasion of Privacy in 2018. 

Though her popularity has soared since her early days on Instagram, the artist’s approach to the platform has changed very little.  

‘These days, she sandwiches confessional videos and memes between red carpet shots, concert footage and political missives,’ Time writes.  

Cardi B's meteoric rise began during her days as a stripper, when she built a social media personality on platforms like Instagram, where she now was 47 million followers

Cardi B’s meteoric rise began during her days as a stripper, when she built a social media personality on platforms like Instagram, where she now was 47 million followers

Chris Godfrey – Creator of the World Record Egg

Chris Godfrey set an Instagram record in January when he posted the image of an egg that went on to garner more than 52 million likes and attract some 7.7 million followers on its account, @world_record_egg. 

The 29-year-old, who works as an advertising creative at the London-based agency The & Partnership, said he wanted to see if ‘something as universal and simple as an egg’ could surpass the record breaking image of Kylie Jenner’s daughter Stormi.

Time writes: ‘Godfrey and his team have pivoted their viral success into interactive content: they featured their fans (called the “Egg Gang”) on Instagram Stories, put out an ad in which the anthropomorphized egg, called Eugene, addressed the importance of mental health and collaborated with DJ Khaled ahead of his album release in the spring.’

Chris Godfrey set an Instagram record in January when he posted the image of an egg that went on to garner more than 52 million likes and attract some 7.7 million followers on its account, @world_record_egg

Chris Godfrey set an Instagram record in January when he posted the image of an egg that went on to garner more than 52 million likes and attract some 7.7 million followers on its account, @world_record_egg

The World Record Egg is pictured above

The World Record Egg is pictured above

Carlos Maza – Vox journalist and vlogger 

Carlos Maza is an American journalist who writes, produces and hosts the Vox series Strikethrough.  

Maza made headlines in late May when he called out years of alleged harassment by conservative commentator Stephen Crowder and demanded that YouTube take action.  

He posted a compilation of clips from the conservative commentators show wherein he can be heard attacking the Vox host, calling him a ‘gay Mexican,’ ‘little queer,’ ‘lispy sprite’ and a ‘token Vox gay atheist sprite’. 

The following day, YouTube revealed plans to revisit its harassment policies. 

‘When Vox journalist and vlogger Carlos Maza spoke up about being harassed online, he didn’t just take aim at the perpetrators. He targeted the policy that empowered them,’ Time writes.  

Carlos Maza is an American journalist who writes, produces and hosts the Vox series Strikethrough. Maza made headlines in May when he called out years of alleged harassment by conservative commentator Stephen Crowder and demanded that YouTube take action

Carlos Maza is an American journalist who writes, produces and hosts the Vox series Strikethrough. Maza made headlines in May when he called out years of alleged harassment by conservative commentator Stephen Crowder and demanded that YouTube take action

Zhang Dayi – Weibo beauty influencer

Zhang Dayi is a 31-year-old fashion entrepreneur and designer who rose to fame on Weibo and other Chinese social media sites.  

She has more than 11 million followers on Weibo, where she uses livestream videos to  promote new products from her clothing and makeup lines. 

‘Media outlets are quick to draw comparisons between Zhang Dayi, one of China’s most prominent social influencers, and fellow e-commerce mogul Kylie Jenner,’ Time writes.  

Zhang Dayi is a 31-year-old fashion entrepreneur and designer who rose to fame on Weibo and other Chinese social media sites

Zhang Dayi is a 31-year-old fashion entrepreneur and designer who rose to fame on Weibo and other Chinese social media sites

JoJo Siwa – YouTube and TikTok star

JoJo Siwa is a 16-year-old singer who rose to fame on Dance Moms is known for her sparkly outfits, dance moves, signature hair bows and high-pitched voice which has won her a massive fan base of 9.8 million YouTube subscribers and young fans including Kim Kardashian’s daughter North West. 

She has a collaboration with the accessories giant Claire’s where she sells sequins bows and a one-of-a-kind make-up kit with eye shadow, two lip glosses, and nail polish to her fans. 

Time notes that Siwa regularly surpasses two million YouTube views in a day, writing: ‘Her mostly young, fervent fan base can’t get enough.’ 

JoJo Siwa is a 16-year-old singer who rose to fame on Dance Moms is known for her sparkly outfits, dance moves, signature hair bows and high-pitched voice which has won her a massive fan base of 9.8 million YouTube subscribers and young fans

JoJo Siwa is a 16-year-old singer who rose to fame on Dance Moms is known for her sparkly outfits, dance moves, signature hair bows and high-pitched voice which has won her a massive fan base of 9.8 million YouTube subscribers and young fans

Ben Shapiro – Conservative pundit

Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire, is known for his unbashedly provocative opinions on his daily podcast, which attracts millions of right-leaning listeners.  

Critics describe Shapiro as a political firebrand with trollish tendencies and controversial opinions; supporters see a rising star who is gifted at debating the left,’ Time writes. 

The magazine compared Shapiro to two conservative firebrands that came before him – Rush Limbaugh and Tucker Carlson.  

Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire, is known for his unbashedly provocative opinions on his daily podcast, which attracts millions of right-leaning listeners

Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire, is known for his unbashedly provocative opinions on his daily podcast, which attracts millions of right-leaning listeners

DrLupo – Twitch gamer

Benjamin Lupo, known in the professional gaming world as DrLupo, has more than 2.5 million followers on the streaming platform Twitch, along with another million on YouTube. 

Time recognized Lupo not for his gaming skills but for his charitable contributions.

He raised nearly $1million participating in St Jude’s Play Live this year, an event where gamers dedicate their broadcasts to charity and encourage followers to donate.  

Benjamin Lupo, known in the professional gaming world as DrLupo, has more than 2.5 million followers on the streaming platform Twitch, along with another million on YouTube

Benjamin Lupo, known in the professional gaming world as DrLupo, has more than 2.5 million followers on the streaming platform Twitch, along with another million on YouTube

Emma Chamberlain – YouTube star

Time described Emma Chamberlain as the most important person on YouTube, praising how the high schooler pioneered a new approach to vlogging that earned her eight million followers in two years. 

‘In contrast with creators who polish their vlogs to high sheens, Chamberlain popularized a normcore-adjacent aesthetic,’ the magazine writes.

‘A typical Chamberlain video augments stream-of-consciousness narration of her daily life with fast-paced jump cuts and grainy distortions, zooming in on minor gaffes, like burps, that her peers choose to edit out. 

‘The result feels like a rejection of the slickness that typifies influencer culture.’ 

Time described Emma Chamberlain as the most important person on YouTube, praising how the high schooler pioneered a new approach to vlogging that earned her eight million fans

Time described Emma Chamberlain as the most important person on YouTube, praising how the high schooler pioneered a new approach to vlogging that earned her eight million fans

Hong Kong Protesters – Political activists

Heated protests that have gripped Hong Kong since early June have been propelled by an active, anonymous group of protesters online, landing them a spot on Time’s list. 

The demonstrations are in opposition to an extradition bill which would have allowed criminal suspects in the city to be sent to China to face trial in courts controlled by the ruling Communist Party. 

The protesters use Internet forum LIHKG and encrypted messaging app Telegram to organize demonstrations in the absence of defined leadership.  

‘We believe in the power of people because when we are a collection of minds, we must be able to make better decisions than maybe just a group of students or leaders,’ pro-democracy activist Ventus Lau told Time.  

Heated protests that have gripped Hong Kong since early June have been propelled by an active, anonymous group of protesters online, landing them a spot on Time's list

Heated protests that have gripped Hong Kong since early June have been propelled by an active, anonymous group of protesters online, landing them a spot on Time’s list

Yashar Ali – Writer for HuffPost and New York Magazine

In addition to being a top writer at HuffPost and New York Magazine, Yashar Ali one of the most prominent journalistic voices on Twitter, where he has more than 425,000 followers. 

He’s known for breaking big news as well as for sparking heated debates on the platform, the most recent one about what the perfect toasted marshmallow looks like. 

The best example of Ali’s influence is a GoFundMe he promoted to raise money for three black churches that burned down in Louisiana. The campaign raised more than $1.45million in the 24 hours after he shared a link on Twitter.  

In addition to being a top writer at HuffPost and New York Magazine, Yashar Ali one of the most prominent journalistic voices on Twitter, where he has more than 425,000 followers

In addition to being a top writer at HuffPost and New York Magazine, Yashar Ali one of the most prominent journalistic voices on Twitter, where he has more than 425,000 followers

Jameela Jamil – Actress on The Good Place

Jameela Jamil, one of the core characters on NBC’s The Good Place, is an outspoken advocate of body positivity who has notably gone up against the Kardashian clan about reinforcing unattainable beauty standards.  

Last year, the British actress and former BBC radio presenter founded I Weigh, an online community where people can share how they measure their self worth beyond the scale.  

‘Every time I speak out, my shame shrinks a little bit more,’ she told Time.

Jameela Jamil from NBC's The Good Place is an outspoken advocate of body positivity who has notably gone up against celebrities for reinforcing unattainable beauty standards

Jameela Jamil from NBC’s The Good Place is an outspoken advocate of body positivity who has notably gone up against celebrities for reinforcing unattainable beauty standards

Ady Barkan – Medicare activist

Ady Barkan, who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease, has turned his struggle with terminal illness into a rallying cry for affordable health care. 

Time deemed him ‘the most powerful activist in America’, praising how he has dedicated what’s left of his life to fighting for ‘Medicare for All’ and other progressive policies, all while his health is in steep decline. 

He stepped into the national spotlight in December 2017 when his confrontation with the-Republican Sen Jeff Flake of Arizona went viral. 

‘Coming face to face with my own mortality has sharpened my focus on what really matters,’ he told Time. 

‘I want to know that I’ve done everything I possibly could to leave this world better than I found it.’

Ady Barkan, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease, has turned his struggle with terminal illness into a rallying cry for affordable health care

Ady Barkan, who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease, has turned his struggle with terminal illness into a rallying cry for affordable health care

Jada Pinkett Smith – Host of Red Table Talk

Jada Pinkett Smith revolutionized the talk show game when she introduced her program Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch in 2018 as conventional cable talk shows have experienced steep decline. 

The show features viewpoints from three generations as Pinkett Smith hosts alongside her daughter Willow and mother Adrienne. 

Red Table Talk is now one of Facebook Watch’s most successful shows and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 2018.   

Jada Pinkett Smith revolutionized the talk show game when she introduced her program Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch in 2018

Jada Pinkett Smith revolutionized the talk show game when she introduced her program Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch in 2018

  

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