The Sunday Times has published a list of Britain’s top 100 influencers, based on those with the best social media engagement and most committed fans.
The world of digital influence is forecast to be worth £8bn globally by next year, with influencers, bloggers and vloggers commanding five-figure sums in exchange for brand investments.
The Sunday Times Influencer list uses an algorithm created by Sara McCorquodale that scores influencers out of 100.
It takes into account audience size, growth and engagement rate. Influencers were given a live score based on their social activity over time.
Named one of Time Magazine’s top 100 most influential people in 2016, PewDiePie – real name Felix Kjellberg – now tops the Sunday Times list as the most influential digital star.
The vlogger, author and entrepreneur covers gaming and digital culture on his YouTube channel.
However, he came under fire in early 2017 when he posted a video that featured two men, whom he’d hired for the stunt, holding up a sign that read Death To All Jews.
He caused controversy again in 2018 when he called fellow YouTuber Lilly Singh an “idiot” and a “crybaby” after she spoke out about gender and wage equality within digital media.
Second on the Sunday Times list is Olajide Olatunji, known as KSI. A YouTuber, rapper and amateur boxer, he covers gaming, football and digital media.
The most influential woman on the Sunday Times list is lifestyle blogger Saffron Barker, coming in at number five. Saffron is also a contestant in the current series of Strictly Come Dancing.
The top ten most influential stars are:
- Felix Kjellberg – PewDiePie
- Olajide William Olatunji – KSI
- Craig Thompson – Mini Ladd
- Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch – F2Freestylers
- Saffron Barker
- Joe Sugg – ThatcherJoeVlogs
- Chelsea Clarke – CC Clarke Beauty
- Callum Leighton Airey – Calfreezy
- Joshua Bradley – Zerkaa
- Colin Furze – colinfurze
The full list is available in the Sunday Times.