In the world of social media, more followers equals more influence. Although celebrities don't come right out and say it, the competition is fierce. And it seems there's a new Instagram queen in town. That's because Selena Gomez is no longer the most-followed woman on Instagram.
Yep, you read that correctly; Selena Gomez is out. And apparently, a different former kids star is in. As Billboard reported, Grande officially dethroned Gomez on Monday, Feb. 25. with 146,286,173 followers verses Gomez's 146,267,801. Despite this impressive achievement, it's worth noting the all-time top honors belong to Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 155 million followers. Ronaldo beat out Gomez this past October.
It comes as little surprise that Grande now the woman with the most Instagram followers; she's gotten over 13 million followers in the past four months alone, according to Billboard. It makes sense, too, considering how often Ariana Grande has been in headlines this past year.
I'm going to go out on a limb, here, and assume that Grande's new album Thank U, Next might have a little something to do with her sharp increase in Instagram followers. As Variety reported, the video to the title single "Thank U, Next" actually broke YouTube records. The video broke the worldwide record for most views in its first 24 hours — managing to wrack up a whopping 55.4 million views in the fist day alone. Additionally, "Thank U, Next" set the record for most-viewed video that used YouTube's Premiere scheduling feature and the record for chat messages sent during the video debut.
Her highly-publicized relationship with Pete Davidson is likely another reason for Grande's spike in followers. As you probably remember — considering it was reported on ad nauseam — Grande and the Saturday Night Live star began a whirlwind relationship this past May, which lasted through the summer and into fall, according to Glamour. They were even engaged for a bit before finally calling it quits in October (but not before getting a number of matching tattoos) just weeks after Grande's ex, Mac Miller, died by suicide.
Meanwhile, Selena Gomez voluntarily took a break from social media in September 2018, according to Elle. "Taking a social media break. Again," she wrote in a post. "As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember- negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi."
The next month, Gomez entered a mental health treatment facility for ongoing issues related to anxiety and depression — and following a breakdown after hospitalizations related to her Lupus and kidney transplant — according to E! Online. Gomez resurfaced in January 2019, and has only periodically posted since then.
Honestly, I'm surprised it's not one of the Kar-Jenner sisters who holds the top honors. But apparently the recipe for ultimate success — at least in the world of Instagram followers — is to be a former Disney star turned singer. Congrats, Ariana, on yet another number one spot!