Young Gen Z influencers are known for being creative and expressive when it comes to sharing their content. Their creativity resonates so much with their audience that 1 in 4 members of Gen Z (aged between 16 and 25) want to become a social media influencer, according to a survey from HigherVisibility.
So what is so appealing about Gen Z influencers? In this article from Collabstr, we’ll take you through our top Gen Z influencer picks so that you get your answers!
What is Gen Z?
Born between 1997 and 2012, Generation Z (Gen Z) is known as the first digitally native generation because they grew up with smartphones, the internet, and social media. Gen Z comprises roughly 20% of the world’s population and is highly active on social media while also being significantly influenced by online content and influencer marketing.
Although Gen Z is influenced by online content, they are actually more conscious consumers and use digital capabilities to interact with and get to know brands more deeply. According to Morning Consult, 94% of Gen Z-ers use social media to engage, have fun, educate themselves, learn new skills, and stay informed on trends.
Essentially, because of Gen Z’s impeccable digital skills, they have become a generation with unprecedented influence in the marketing space.
Now, let’s take a look at some Gen Z influencers who are making an impact on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
18 Gen Z Influencers to Follow
As there are generally five different types of influencers and content creators to consider, we’ve placed our Gen Z influencer picks in categories according to their reach; celebrity status, macro-influencers,mid-tier influencers, micro-influencers, and nano-influencers.
Gen Z Influencers with Celebrity Status (1M+ Followers)
1. Kylie Jenner
Instagram following: 381M
TikTok following: 52.2M
Kylie Jenner is the only one on our list who comes from a famous family. However, this doesn’t deny her influential impact on Gen Z. At 381 million followers, the 25-year-old influencer is the second most-followed female on Instagram.
She started collaborating with brands at the age of 14, and her following rose in 2015 when she launched her own cosmetics line. For a celebrity-status influencer, Kylie has an impressive engagement rate and is currently one of the highest-paid social media influencers.
Gen Z followers were intrigued by her makeup and style from her regular use of Snapchat. She would document her days and perform makeup routines that many young followers would copy. Despite having a reality tv background, her influence really came from showing that she was a young teen who also enjoyed sharing her daily life.
2. Charli D’Amelio
Instagram following: 48.2M
TikTok following: 150.2M
YouTube subscribers: 9.36M
Charli D’Amelio is currently TikTok’s biggest female influencer, and she only posted her first video in 2019. Charli started by uploading videos of her lip-syncing and dancing to viral sounds on the app, as most users do. What made her so popular was her consistency and impressive dancing ability, which gained her 5 million followers in the first week of creating her account.
Charli quickly became TikTok’s image of ‘the perfect TikTok dancing girl’, and an interesting part about what boosted her popularity further is that many people couldn’t understand why. Her videos started to trend because many people would comment about how they didn’t understand the ‘hype’. And, of course, when you post on TikTok, the more engagement you have, the more your videos will be pushed.
Her popularity has secured her collaborations with major beauty and fashion brands, acting gigs, and even her own reality show.
3. Emma Chamberlain
Instagram following: 16.1M
YouTube subscribers: 12M
Emma Chamberlain is an influencer who started her journey on YouTube at the age of 17. Now, at the age of 21, she has 12 million subscribers, launched her own coffee company, and gets invited to attend exclusive red carpet events like the Met Gala.
Emma is particularly influential to Gen Z because the vlogs she posts on her YouTube channel showcase her genuine and relatable personality. She strays from the path of other influencers who may portray unrealistic and ‘perfect’ content. Her commendable success was achieved through her emphasizing that you can show your real and authentic self without forcing yourself to act or look a certain way.
4. Maddie Ziegler
Instagram following: 13.9M
TikTok following: 5.7M
YouTube subscribers: 3.65M
Maddie Ziegler made her debut in the public eye as a dancer on the reality show ‘Dance Moms’ when she was just 8 years old. It’s no surprise she became one of the most influential teens as her dance talent superseded her peers in the show.
At just 19 years old, Maddie has been featured on the cover of US Cosmopolitan, named twice in Time Magazine’s list of 30 most influential teens, and has partnered with many brands, including Fabletics, with which she created five fashion collections.
Maddie’s young audience enjoys watching her dance videos and videos about her collaborations on YouTube, as well as engaging in her life updates on Instagram. Her appeal comes from the way she publicly shows a strong sense of morality which really appeals to Gen Z consumers nowadays.
5. Khaby Lame
Instagram following: 79.1M
TikTok following: 155.5M
Khaby Lame is a 22-year-old former factory worker in Italy who had a remarkable rise to fame, becoming the most followed creator on TikTok. Khaby became popular on TikTok for posting duets poking fun at silly hacks during the pandemic. The best part? He did it without saying a word! His duets received multiple laughs and reshares from Gen Z and many other demographics.
Khaby Lame’s rise as a top content creator is quite unique because it lacks the polished production value that’s associated with most influential creators. It was entirely organic. The appeal to his content came from the way he essentially mocks overproduced trends that flood social media.
Khaby’s popularity has resulted in a multi-year partnership with Hugo Boss and collaborations with other high-end brands.
6. Molly-Mae Hague
Instagram following: 7.4M
YouTube subscribers: 1.77M
Molly-Mae is a 23-year-old UK-based beauty and fashion influencer who gained popularity during season 5 of the reality tv show ‘Love Island’. However, she already had a large following before she went on the show, and she was dedicated to growing it.
Molly-Mae is an influencer who prides herself in having a mogul mindset when it comes to her social media content because she planned how she would build her following. She is very open about sharing her entire life in her vlogs, such as her relationship with her ‘Love Island’ partner Tommy Fury, and her recent pregnancy journey. Molly-Mae's dedication and consistency when it comes to her content have led her to be the Creative Director of the fast fashion brand Pretty Little Thing and one of the most-followed influencers in the UK.
7. Bretman Rock
Instagram following: 18.6M
TikTok following: 15.2M
YouTube subscribers: 8.86M
Bretman Rock is a 24-year-old Filipino social media influencer who rose to fame through his humorous content on Vine and YouTube. His witty humor and sassy attitude immediately drew in a young audience that wanted to see more.
Bretman Rock is all about LGBTQ+ solidarity and staying true to yourself no matter what. Gen Z audiences also appreciate his talent for using makeup, his entertaining videos with his family, and his funny product hauls.
Bretman has worked with large brands such as Nike, Crocs, and Michael Kors, as well as a wide range of makeup brands.
8. Wisdom Kaye
Instagram following: 2.3M
TikTok following: 9.3M
Wisdom Kaye is a 21-year-old content creator who started posting creative fashion content on TikTok and is now known as TikTok’s ‘best-dressed guy’. He often posts from the same corner of his house, where he showcases creatively styled outfits based on different themes he came up with or were suggested to him in the comments.
He has posted videos based on keyboard emojis, anime characters, cartoon characters, TikTok sounds interpreted as outfits, or high-fashion runway looks on a budget. Wisdom quickly grew his popularity because such creative styling was a fresh new take on engaging fashion content. Even if you aren’t a fashion lover, you’ll be impressed with what he can pull together, given a theme.
Wisdom’s fashion content has led him to work with luxury brands such as Ralph Lauren, Coach, Dior, Fendi, and Revlon.
9. Samuel Malki
TikTok following: 7M
Samuel Malki, also known as Malki Means King, is a viral hip-hop artist who takes flexing to a whole different level on TikTok. The creator became TikTok famous in 2020 for posting humorous hip-hop-style videos showing off how rich he is. His videos often show him holding wads of cash, wearing diamond grills, a gilded crown, and layers of chains.
Malki’s followers clearly find his flexing funny and entertaining, as he has gained up to 7 million followers in such a short time. His multitude of followers aren’t even sure if all Malki shows off is real. However, it’s certain that the entertainment he provides on TikTok makes him a lot of money through sponsored ads.
Malki has also expanded his social media reach to Facebook and Instagram, so if you’re a brand looking to get in front of his vast audience, feel free to check out Samuel Malki’s Collabstr profile.
10. Trinity Morisette
TikTok following: 3.9M
Instagram following: 598K
Trinity Morisette is a 20-year-old model and TikTok creator that describes herself as a positivity and kindness influencer. Trinity’s title is well-deserved as she is popular for taking a strong stance against cyberbullying and even pioneered a “Kindness Matters” Movement after receiving hurtful comments online.
Initially, Trinity used to post-conventional lipsync videos like most teens on TikTok, until she went through intense cyberbullying that devastated her mental health and confidence. However, because of it, she started using her platform to educate her young audience about mental health awareness and the benefits of spreading positivity which has touched over 3 million hearts.
If you’re looking for a positivity influencer, here is Trinity’s Collabstr profile.
Gen Z Macro-Influencers (100k-1M Followers)
11. Sarah Baska
Instagram following: 610K
TikTok following: 560.5K
YouTube subscribers: 1.67M
Sarah Baska is a YouTuber and social media personality who started posting random skits and videos about Harry Styles on Vine at 16 years old. Now, at 24 years old and boasting over one million YouTube subscribers, Sarah has gained public figure status because of her genuine, warm, and likable personality.
Sarah’s YouTube content consists of hilarious storytimes about her life, vlogs, occasional music playlist shares, and her playing the game ‘Life is Strange’. The 24-year-old continues to captivate her Gen Z peers with her engaging storytelling abilities and genuine transparency about what it’s really like to be a young adult.
12. Nella Rose
Instagram following: 631k
TikTok following: 640k
YouTube subscribers: 755k
Nella Rose is a popular UK-based influencer who started her journey by posting sit-down videos on YouTube with her friends in her university dorm. Throughout only a few years of sharing a mix of vlogs, clothing hauls, and beauty content, her audience grew because of her lively, relatable, and humorous angle to lifestyle influencing.
Besides her personality, her audience fell in love with how she portrayed fashion content for curvier girls, and this led her to be an ambassador for the fashion brand Fashion Nova Curve. She also created her own collection for Pretty Little Thing.
Nella Rose is an example of an influencer who used her social media popularity to catapult her into a long-term career in TV presenting. She is currently co-host of the hit MTV show ‘Catfish UK’ and continues to receive invites to host at red carpet events such as The BRIT Awards.
13. Ben Horn
Instagram following: 23.3K
TikTok following: 409.6K
Ben Horn is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle content creator. Through his influential TikTok content, he emphasizes that clothing is genderless and anyone can wear whatever they feel comfortable in.
Ben is an influencer that appeals to a large Gen Z audience because of his confidence, body positivity, and tasteful style. His audience admires his willingness to show his true self regardless of what people say, and various fashion brands have recruited him to spread his positivity for their own campaigns.
If you’re looking for a gender-fluid fashion content creator, here is Ben Horn’s Collabstr profile.
14. Sydney Maloney
Instagram following: 13.2K
TikTok following: 519.1K
Sydney Maloney (also known as ‘sydthedisnerd’ on TikTok and Instagram) is a cosplay content creator based in Canada. She is originally a trained musical theatre performer and this spurred her interest in Disney cosplay.
Sydney gained her large following on TikTok by posting videos of her dressed up and completing full makeup looks of her as a Disney character. What makes her cosplay content unique is that she has the acting talent to match the looks!
Feel free to take a look at Sydney’s Collabstr profile.
Gen Z Mid-Tier and Micro-Influencers (10k-100k Followers)
15. Andrei Vadasan
Instagram following: 42.2k
Andrei Vadasan is an Italian model who is also one of the top beauty influencers in Italy. His Instagram showcases a very gender-fluid and high-fashion aesthetic that appeals to the more artsy Gen Z audience who are looking for inspiration.
Andrei has partnered with many brands through his Instagram posts and boasts an impressive engagement rate of 16.5%.
Feel free to take a look at Andrei’s Collabstr profile.
16. Robbie Ellis
TikTok following: 44.7k
Instagram following: 3.1k
Robbie Ellis is a France-based fashion and lifestyle content creator, with an engaged TikTok following. His TikTok content focuses on street-style fashion, and his cool appearance has gained him a majority following of Gen Z females!
Feel free to take a look at Robbie’s Collabstr profile.
Gen Z Nano-Influencers (1k-10k Followers)
17. Damian Cajide
Instagram following: 1.5K
Damian Cajide is a non-binary makeup creator who posts exciting and creative makeup looks just for fun. His content caters to a Gen Z audience that enjoys androgynous and edgy makeup and fashion looks.
Despite his small following, Damian consistently posts high-quality content. Many makeup brands have noticed his dedication and continuously send him PR products to feature on his Instagram.
Feel free to check out Damian’s Collabstr profile.
18. Sofia Del Castillo
Instagram following: 6k
TikTok following: 1k
Sofia Del Castillo is a budding influencer who posts lifestyle, fitness, cooking, and fashion content. She is dedicated to growing her following organically, as she doesn’t like to spam her followers with too much content.
Sofia’s small but engaging following is often interested in the fashion pieces she wears on vacation and what her fitness routines are.
Feel free to take a closer look at Sofia’s Collabstr profile.
As we can see from our fine selection of Gen Z influencers, there is something for everyone. The power of influencer marketing is that you can cater to all different types of audiences and niches because of the vast range of personalities and aesthetics that these creators possess. Discovering a mix of celebrity status to nano-influencers can help you reach a variety of audiences that may love your product.
If you’re ready to start reaching out to influencers today, feel free to browse Collabstr’s extensive influencer marketplace so you can find the perfect fit for your brand. Don’t worry, we vet every influencer on our platform so that you receive the high-quality content you deserve!