2 in 3 US Teens Follow Influencers. Which Types Are Most Popular?

December 6, 2021
YouGov Types Influencers Followed by US Teens Dec2021

With US marketers pouring more of their budgets into influencer marketing each year, they might be well-advised to focus some of those budgets on youth. Per a recent report [download page] from YouGov, US teens are far more likely than adults to follow influencers.

The report reveals that two-thirds of US teens follow influencers, significantly above the 29% of US adults who do so. Some 7 in 10 US female teens follow influencers, as do 63% of US male teens.

Of the given influencer types, music (38%), gaming (36%) and celebrity (31%) influencers are the most popular among teens, with more than 3 in 10 teens following these types of influencers. Of course, teens don’t just follow one type of influencer. In fact, YouGov found that US teens who follow gaming influencers are more likely than average to also follow music, humor/meme and celebrity influencers.

Who’s Following Who?

Although a larger percentage of US female than male teens say they follow influencers, it turns out that male teens make up a slightly greater portion of the influencer audience than females, per separate YouGov data. Some 54% of those teens that follow influencers are male, while 46% are female. There are some differences in the types of influencers male and female teens prefer.

Although previous research shows that females in America are almost as likely as males to be gamers, YouGov’s data shows that male teens show a definite preference for gaming influencers. Indeed, male teens (45%) are far more likely than female teens (24%) to follow gaming influencers. The preference for gaming influencers extends to US males ages 18-34. Of the top influencer types for this age group, gaming influencers (19%) edged out food influencers (18%) and social activists (14%).

Furthermore, of all the US teens that follow gaming influencers, 71% of them are male. Likewise, males make up three-quarters of all teens that follow sports influencers.

Female teens, on the other hand, appear to have somewhat broader interests insofar as influencers are concerned. Female teens, as a whole, tend to follow influencer types such as music (51%), celebrity (47%), beauty (41%) and fashion (38%). And, while they account for the majority share of teens that follow influencers for music (58%), health (58%), celebrity (66%), travel (66%) and fashion (75%), females account for an even greater portion (83%) of all US teens that follow beauty influencers.

US Below Global Average for Adult Influencer Followers

Globally, some 43% of adults (18+) follow influencers. And, per research from GWI, it tends to be younger generations who say they follow influencers on social media. However, while US online consumers list influencers among their top three channels that influence them to try a new brand, YouGov’s data shows that only 29% of US adults follow influencers. In fact, US consumers are more likely to say they distrust influencers than trust them

While US teens show a preference for music and gaming influencers, globally adults show a tendency towards food influencers, as well as health and celebrity influencers.

Find the full report here

About the Data: Teen data is based on YouGov Teen Profiles data in the US. Global findings are based on a July survey of close to 19,000 respondents from 17 global markets.

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