- 10. März 2023

Selena Gomez overtakes Kylie Jenner as #1 on Instagram. What does this exchange in power mean for Rare Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics?

Kailey Bertelson
Kailey Bertelson
Customer Success Analyst
Maddie Giglio
Maddie Giglio
Integrated Marketing Associate

Selena Gomez recently overtook Kylie Jenner as the most followed individual on Instagram in February 2023. With some of Comscore’s social and digital tools, we take a deep dive into what may have caused this shift of power and how this is affecting these stars.

Since December 20th, 2021, Kylie Jenner has held the position as the most followed individual on Instagram.

On February 1st, Selena had a follower lag of nearly 5 million followers behind Kylie. As the month progressed, however, we saw Selena’s count increase steadily. On February 23rd Selena became the most followed person on Instagram, with a little over 42 thousand more followers than Kylie. Just the next day, the data shows Selena made a massive jump of nearly 1 million followers, pushing her well over the edge. That wasn’t the end of Selena’s climb, though. Her follower count continued to increase over Kylie’s. What may have caused this shift? Let’s get into it.

Instagram follower growth

Viewing the top posts Selena Gomez was mentioned in from January 31, 2023, leading up to her takeover on the 23rd of February, we see that the conversation – centered around Selena’s weight gain due to her lupus medication - was sparked by a viral video of the popstar at an NBA game.

Here Selena goes on to dispel rumors with a very open conversation about her current situation, also shown in the top ten posts.

Some reports, made by several international and acclaimed accounts, discussed the potential riff going on between Hailey Bieber, Selena, and sister duo Kendall and Kylie. Two notable posts are shown here branching into the top 20 posts leading up to Selena’s takeover:

On Kylie’s end, individuals were more engaged with media outlets reporting about her ex, Tyga, being in an alleged new relationship, as well as reports showing Kylie’s latest posts with her children leading up to her fall from being the #1 most followed on Instagram.

After Selena’s takeover on February 23rd, many of the news outlets, unsurprisingly, focused on her triumph over Kylie, which may have benefited her continuing follower growth. Selena’s announced break from social media seemed to have sent shockwaves too. A post discussing both the triumph and admitted break from socials proved to be popular with a whopping 953,713 total actions, which topped the charts.

In a comparison between Kylie and Selena’s total actions and average engagement throughout the month of February 2023, they remained fairly neck and neck with Selena’s most liked post being a selfie of herself garnering 19.2 million likes, and Kylie’s most liked post being a video of her son Aire garnering 12.4 million likes.

Instagram key metrics

Since Kylie and Selena both have successfully launched their own make-up brands with large social presences of their own, the next question raised may be: how are their brands being affected by the latest news?

Trends in engagement on Instagram

Viewing the trend of engagement across February, we see a spike in Rare Beauty’s Instagram account the day Selena’s personal account overtook Kylie’s, with a large decline in Kylie Cosmetics engagement despite both accounts having the same number of posts per day.

Along with this, Rare Beauty’s Instagram account seemed to have experienced a 22% increase in followers, with Kylie Cosmetics seeing a 1% decline of followers. However, could we see this decline for Kylie Cosmetics become more drastic in the future?

Follower Growth Instagram

Over the course of only one day – March 2nd to March 3rd, 2023, we can see how radically the numbers have shifted between the key metrics and trends of both brands. Rare Beauty’s follower count increased by 100,000, their total actions per post surpassed Kylie Cosmetics, their average engagement increased by 1 per post, and their total actions increased by 200,000 overall. At the same time Kylie Cosmetics experienced losses in social media actions in almost every category.

Instagram Metrics March 2

Instagram key metrics March 3

Though Kylie Cosmetics has a much higher follower count in comparison to Selena’s Rare Beauty, what does this exchange in followers mean for Selena’s beauty brand? It’s one to watch as their respective fan bases and beauty consumers come along for the journey.

Looking to learn more about current and on-going data trends? Ask us about our social insights here.