Influential TikTok Creators

Meet the people leading the charge in the platform’s massive creator economy.

Hero Banner Image

Yet another new brand of celebrity

We’ve had celebrities, influencers, and creators for a while now, but none of those terms seem to capture the authority of TikTok’s elite. Comprised mostly of Gen Zers plucked from obscurity by lip syncs, creative shticks, and TikTok’s organic-friendly algorithm, the platform’s top content creators are the faces and voices of an entire generation. 

Many of TikTok’s top names were also groomed by collab houses like The Hype House and The Sway House, where creators live together and create content full time. Thanks to this machinery and vast network, their influence on their hundreds of millions of followers is so big that it’s shifting how businesses approach advertising.

So what do these TikTok stars do and why are they so big on the app? Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the social network’s biggest and most influential creators, and the kind of content they make.

TikTok by the numbers

  • 63%
    of TikTok users like it when brands show TikTok creators in their videos¹
  • 193%
    higher 6-second view rate for ad content created in partnership with creators²
  • 93%
    engagement rate for ad content created for TikTok in partnership with creators³

Biggest stars and highest earners

  • Charli D’Amelio

    With over 139 million followers, Charli D’Amelio is still the reigning queen of TikTok with her lip syncs and dance moves. She’s also currently the highest paid TikTok star after making $17.5 million USD in 2021, according to Forbes. Since becoming the biggest name out of The Hype House, D’Amelio has now ventured into lucrative sponsorships, fashion collabs, and even a reality show alongside older sister, Dixie.

  • Khaby Lame

    Thanks to funny videos reacting to popular TikTok trends and content, Khaby Lame’s following shot up to more than 136 million followers in only two years. He currently has the second biggest following on the platform. Unlike most TikTok celebs at this level though, Lame didn’t rise with the backing of a collab house and he has yet to go full showbiz with his TikTok career. Lame is Senegalese and based in Italy.

  • Bella Poarch

    Bella Poarch is currently the third biggest TikTok creator (over 89 million followers) and fourth highest earner ($5 million USD). She rose to fame when her lip sync video of Millie B’s “M to the B” went viral in 2020. It’s still one of the most watched videos on TikTok with over half a billion views and more than 2 million comments. Poarch has since expanded her brand to include endorsements and a budding music career.

  • Addison Rae

    While Addison Rae tails Bella Poarch when it comes to following (over 87 million), Forbes did rank her one spot higher in terms of TikTok-related earnings ($8.5 million USD). Rae is an OG TikToker and member of The Hype House, with her initial success dating back to 2019. She has since leveraged her dances, lip syncs, and comedy skits into sponsorships, a makeup line, and an extensive deal with Netflix, starting with her lead role in romcom remake, He’s All That.

  • Zach King

    The only certified Millennial in the top five (GASP!), Zach King was making waves as a content creator on YouTube and Vine long before TikTok. Since joining the platform, though, he’s amassed a following of more than 68 million and has one of the most viewed TikTok videos of all time. (His flying broomstick illusion has over 2 billion views.) King is known for his cool editing tricks and video magic—the very things that established his early success as a YouTube creator.

  • Kris Collins

    Kris Collins, best known by her handle @kallmekris, is one of the top 20 most popular TikTok content creators with over 43 million followers, and in the top five biggest earners on the platform in 2021. Thanks to comedic sketches with a large and endearing cast of characters—all played by her—Collins rose to TikTok fame and now has a steady stream of sponsorships from major brands that work well with her wholesome, family-centric humor.

Got burning questions for TikTok creators? 

Ask them yourself during our live TikTok influencer AMA. Get insights on content creation, brand partnerships, follower building, and more straight from TikTok creators themselves. It's all part of our three-day TikTok webinar series.

Influential community leaders

  • Shina Novalinga

    With just over 4 million followers, Shina Novalinga isn’t one of TikTok’s biggest names—but her content is still making a big impact. She’s an Inuk creator who went viral for her Indigenous throat singing. With the help of her mother, who often makes cameos in her videos, Novalinga proudly showcases Indigenous style and fashion. She’s part of a growing TikTok community who are using the platform to celebrate their cultural heritage and share it with the rest of the world.

  • Erika Kullberg

    If you think law is the least interesting profession to portray in a place like TikTok, you probably haven’t met Erika Kullberg. Thanks to her skits, it’s easier to understand your rights as a customer and as an employee. Her videos have become so popular that they’ve inspired endless parodies and the hashtag #ThanksErika has garnered over 61 million views.  

  • The Old Gays

    Robert Reeves, Michael Patterson, Jessay Martin, and Bill Lyons may be in their 60s and 70s, but they’re farthest you can get from Boomer energy (you know what we mean). Collectively known as The Old Gays, the foursome first gained popularity through promotional videos for Grindr. Thanks to their humor, warmth, and plain old fabulousness, they now have over 6 million followers on TikTok, several sponsorships, and a TV show to boot.

TikTok trends move FAST

Stay up-to-date with our biweekly newsletter.