Facebook-owned Instagram has been a platform to share photos and videos with followers or the public since its creation in 2010. While household names take many of the top credits for most liked accounts (Kim Kardashian-West as #1, with nearly 31 million followers as of April 2015), many people who aren’t professional actors, models, or athletes have found enormous success through the app. Here are some of the biggest Instagram stars that have become celebrities through the app and other online media:
Occupation: Vine star
Number of Followers: 7.5 million
Why he’s Instagram famous: While his main social media accomplishment is his Vine account of humorous videos – in 2014 he was the second-most followed account on the platform – Grier is a very normal teenager from North Carolina. His harmlessly innocent videos are aimed at teens, many of whom have become interested in his life and heartthrob looks; nearly all of his Instagrams are pictures of his daily life or more professional shots.
Occupation: Professional poker player, actor, self-proclaimed “King of Instagram”
Number of Followers: 8.2 million
Why he’s Instagram famous: Gaining some fame and wealth through professional poker playing, high-stakes celebrity betting, and some minor acting, Bilzerian became the social media icon he is today from his Instagram account. Rich from birth, Bilzerian’s account first gained attention from thedirty.com in 2013 for his lifestyle filled with private planes, nightclubs, sports cars, and plenty of scantily dressed women.
Occupation: Beauty blogger, YouTube star
Number of Followers: 4.5 million
Why she’s Instagram famous: First coming to Internet fame in 2009 with a Youtube channel devoted to videos of her latest fashion purchases, Mota broke out as much more than a video star and became a brand in and of herself. Expanding with hair and makeup tutorials and other style guides for teenage girls, Mota was inspired by campaigns of positivity in the wake of being bullied. Becoming hugely popular, she was hired by Aeropostale to design a clothing line, and in 2014 was named one of Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Teens. Mota’s Instagram offers pictures of her, fashion images, food, and inspirational quotes.
Occupation: Comedian, founder of F—k Jerry & its related endeavors
Number of Followers: 4.1 million
Why he’s Instagram famous: Unlike the aforementioned Instagram celebrities, Tebele doesn’t Instagram about himself; in fact, he commented to The New York Post that the followers he meets are shocked by what he looks like. Instead, Tebele, an Orthodox Jewish college dropout, rounds up the best of the best humor from the Internet and posts about it. He became famous in 2012 when DJ Calvin Harris started following his little-known account, from which his followers skyrocketed. Posting memes, funny screenshots, and
assorted random pictures, Tebele has turned his knack for finding the Internet’s most laughable content into a full-time business with growing demand for guest appearances and merchandise.