| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES The ladies of U.S. pop music and pop culture are commanding the most followers among the 400 million-plus global users of Instagram, the photo-sharing app said Tuesday as it celebrated its fifth birthday.
Facebook Inc-owned Instagram confirmed its top five accounts for the first time, with 25-year-old pop singer Taylor Swift leading the pack with 49.6 million users.
Reality star Kim Kardashian, 34, boasts 48.1 million followers and R&B singer Beyonce, also 34, commands 47.2 million fans. Pop singers Selena Gomez, 23, and Ariana Grande, 22, have garnered 45.9 million and 44.6 million fans respectively.
"The type of content we see from these people is authentic and often times really fun," said Charles Porch, head of global creative programs at Instagram, citing Swift's penchant for cat videos and Beyonce's recent glimpse into her vacation.
"It's a view people haven't really had before, especially in real time," he said.
To compare, U.S. president Barack Obama has 4.7 million Instagram followers. Instagram discounted its own account, which is followed by 103 million users.
Instagram has racked up more than 400 million global users as it turns five, with 75 percent coming from outside the United States, the company said last month. The average time a user spends on the app is 21 minutes a day.
The top five ladies of Instagram are mostly popular with a younger audience, with 85 percent of each of their fanbases aged under 34, the audience coveted by advertisers which Instagram hopes to draw more of by the end of the year.
Singer and actress Gomez, who often comments on posts and responds to fans directly, has the most engaged account, Instagram said.
The top accounts also each reflect a 75 percent international fanbase - Grammy-winning Swift's second-biggest number of Instagram followers comes from Indonesia, Kardashian's in Britain, Beyonce and Gomez's in Brazil and Grande's in Mexico.
Swift's most-liked photos include one with her musician boyfriend Calvin Harris and another with flowers she received from rapper Kanye West, both garnering 2.5 million likes.
Kardashian, often dubbed 'queen of the selfie,' offers a look into her fashion and beauty regimes. The elusive Beyonce uses Instagram as her main method of communication since unofficially retiring from doing direct interviews.
"What Instagram is doing is giving all these ladies a direct line to their fans and, by having a direct line, they're controlling their message," Porch said.
(Editing by Paul Tait)