Time announces the 25 most influential people on the Internet, from Rihanna to BTS


TIME just unveiled its annual list of the 25 most influential people on the Internet, and we’ve chosen the most meaningful individuals to spotlight.

For the fourth year, Time has released its list of the individuals that the magazine considers to be the most influential people on the Internet. To determine who was in (and was out), Time analyzed candidates in terms of their “global impact on social media and their overall ability to drive news.”

The list, which is not ranked, includes some familiar names as well as some relative unknowns. And in an era in which women are making their voices heard in multiple industries, female celebrities like Rihanna have earned their place on Time‘s list.

Although Time didn’t include categories, we’re serving up our views by dividing their list into sections.

Women who empower us

  • Rihanna is one of those women who definitely deserves her place on the list.  When the songstress shared an Instagram story slamming a Snapchat ad that used her image for a supposedly light-hearted approach to domestic violence, the company’s value slumped by $800 million. Not only do Rihanna’s followers listen to her, but she listens to them, as exemplified by her inclusive makeup and lingerie lines.
  • Naomi Watanabe is making her name known in Japan, where she ranks as the country’s most popular social media star. The comedian/fashion designer has delighted fans by impersonating Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, and she’s even got her own clothing line with sizes up to 16. “I want to tell people to love themselves as they are,” Naomi told Time.

Men who are memorable

  • Shaun King is a leading voice for the Black Lives Matter movement. From raising awareness about the unjust death of Michael Brown, to amplifying stories of everyday racism across the country today, King is a journalist, activist, and necessary social influencer. King has used his platform to help those in need as well as call out those who are wrong, like his recent call to action for followers to ID a man who threatened to call ICE on Hispanic restaurant workers in New York.
  • Daniel Baker and Joel Martinez (a.k.a. Desus and Mero) are two guys from the Bronx who became internet famous for cracking jokes at each other, making a dual account on Twitter, and eventually finding themselves as viral sensations. Podcasts, hosting gigs, a late-night show on Viceland — the two have proven themselves to be an entertaining duo you can’t miss. Check them out next year on Showtime, where they’ll get to host a late-night show — the network’s first.

Groups and duos who rock

  • When it comes to proving that the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” the Korean pop group BTS (English translation: “Beyond the Scene”) has accumulated a growing group of true believers. This year, BTS dropped the album Love Yourself: Tear, which quickly soared up the charts after its debut on the Billboard 200. For two years in a row, the act has taken home the Top Social Artist honors from the Billboard Music Awards.
  • Charlotte and Dave Willner exemplify the reason why we’re impressed with this list: Time has singled out some individuals who deserve the recognition that comes with the magazine’s spotlight. When this couple learned that over 2,000 children had been separated from their families due to the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, the Willners created a Facebook fundraiser: “Reunite an immigrant parent with their child.” Their goal was to garner $1,500 for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. That fundraiser turned into the most successful campaign in Facebook’s history, bringing in over $20 million in donations from over 500,000 people. The money is being used to help immigrant families get legal aid so that the parents can return to their children.

Others on the “most influential” list range from actress Busy Philipps to reality TV star Kylie Jenner. Activists who we cheer on this list? The Parkland survivors, who have made major moves for gun reform, and the women of #BabaeAko, who called out Philippine Duterte’s sexism.

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Who was your favorite on Time‘s influential list? Let us know in the comments!