BrandGraph® 500 Year in Review Released: WhatsApp Ranks #1 for 2021

Entertainers and Metaverse Brands are the Topic of Most Social Media Conversations

IZEA Worldwide, Inc., the premier provider of influencer marketing technology, data, and services for the world’s leading brands, released its BrandGraph® 500 Year in Review ranking that highlights fascinating social media trends and brand-consumer conversations in 2021.

The BrandGraph platform analyzed 741 million pieces of content across 16.6 million different social media accounts in 2021 to determine which brands were most often mentioned by social media influencers across the leading social media platforms. The content index now contains more than 1.3 billion posts.

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Highlights of the 2021 BrandGraph® 500:

  • Two tech giants dominate the top 10: Meta/Facebook accounts for the No. 1 (WhatsApp), No. 2 (Instagram) and No. 5 (Facebook) spots in the BrandGraph 500, while Alphabet/Google owns the No. 3 and 9 spots — YouTube and Google. Other mega-companies — TikTok (No. 4), Twitter (No. 6), Nike (No. 7), Disney (No. 8) and Apple’s iPhone (No. 10) — were top of mind for social media users in 2021. Netflix is making a play for a top-10 spot, rising two spots to No. 11.
  • Entertainment brands and performers generated the most buzz on social media and were the biggest movers on the BrandGraph 500. The most significant jump came from “Wandavision”; the Marvel Studio superhero show skyrocketed 257 places to No. 123 on the BrandGraph 500. The Academy Awards dropped 172 spots to No. 423 after ratings for the 2021 show tanked and garnered negative reviews.
  • It was also a big year for British singers, especially former One Direction members, who generated the highest engagement among entertainers on social media. Harry Styles rose 15 places to No. 95 while going on tour; Zayn Malik jumped 36 spots to No. 200 while breaking up with model Gigi Hadid and releasing new music; and Liam Payne dropped 26 places to No. 285 on the list after releasing the popular song “Sunshine.” Singer Dua Lipa, whose song “Levitating” was one No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list for 2021, ascended 32 places to No. 194. Ed Sheeran joined the list as he soared 141 positions to No. 292, one of the biggest jumps of 2021.
  • Nine American rappers made the BrandGraph 500: Cardi B at No. 128; Travis Scott at No. 152; Doja Cat at No. 240; Snoop Dogg at No. 263; Megan Thee Stallion at No. 275; DaBaby at No. 286; Lil Wayne at 291; Juice WRLD at No. 381; and Offset at No. 401. Among those, only Lil Wayne saw a spike in the ranking, jumping 46 places.
  • Virtual worlds and video games got people talking, like Roblox, which rose 113 positions to No. 149, and Fortnite, which dropped 16 spots but was still in the top 50, at No. 40. The well-known game Minecraft was up 17 spots to No. 72. Pokemon’s popularity surged in 2021, which was highlighted by an 82-place jump in the ranking to No. 191. Resident Evil had a spike as well, rising 76 places to No. 243.
  • Social media users also showed an interest in crypto. Bitcoin rose 45 spots in the ranking to No. 19, illustrating the increasing conversations surrounding cryptocurrencies and their future. Other cryptocurrencies that joined BrandGraph in 2021: Dogecoin, XRP, Binance Coin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Cardano and Ethereum.

“BrandGraph gives brands unparalleled social media and consumer insights to kick-start their 2022 marketing campaigns and monitor their progress over time” said Ted Murphy, Founder and CEO of IZEA. “The capability of the platform has grown immensely over the past year, both in functionality and in the sheer volume of data we are analyzing for over 5,000 brands across a wide range of industries.”

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