Curious to know who makes the cut as one of Forbes’ top influencers? The magazine has released its 30 Under 30 for 2021, and various social media stars appear among the ranks.

Now, 30 Under 30 may not be the definitive list to use when you want to find influencers for your brand. Always choose influencers who fit your brand’s goals and personality, and who also work with your budget and campaign timeline.

Yet, lists like these remind us of just how much, well, influence, the influencer marketing industry has on our world. So let’s take a brief look at the list and see why it matters.

What’s 30 Under 30?

Every year, Forbes magazine releases the 30 Under 30 list for four distinct regions: North Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. The lists highlight people under 30 who have made a mark on various industries like entertainment, finance, education, or social media.

Names are put forth via nominations, and then Forbes’ teams of researchers and fact-checkers whittle down the lists to semifinalists. Panels of top judges from each industry then vote to secure the finalists.

This year, various influencers made the cut. Youtubers, TikTokers and Instagrammers appear among teenage robotics scientists, researchers improving the accuracy of cancer testing, famous musicians, and startups planting trees with drones.

Who are some of the Forbes top influencers for this year?

Here’s a quick look at 5 of Forbes’ top influencers. For the whole list, check out the link at the bottom of this article.

Marques Brownlee

This 26-year-old from New Jersey has over 13 million subscribers and 700 million views on his Youtube channel MKBHD. Brownlee studied at the Stevens Institute of Technology and his channel is all about tech. He’s reviewed all types of computers, smartphones, cameras and more, and has also interviewed celebrities like Barack Obama and Elon Musk.

Sanjana Nagesh

Sanjana grew up in Australia but is of Indian heritage. In 2017, she founded BrownGirlGang on Instagram due to a lack of representation of South Asian women in mainstream media. The page has about 129K followers and has been featured in the BBC, The Times India and The Huffington Post. Sanjana, 24, has been steadily growing the page since its inception and now has followers from around the world.

Beckii Flint and Alice Jones

Beckii Flint is an influencer turned influencer marketer. The 25-year-old  first became famous in Japan, where Youtube videos of her dancing to J-Pop music went viral. In 2019, she partnered with seasoned marketer Alice Jones to start Pepper Studio, an influencer marketing agency. Together, they merge the creator and marketer perspectives to lead successful campaigns for their clients.

A Japanese tweet featuring Beckii Flint as one of the Forbes top influencers.

Addison Rae Easterling

Forbes cites this 20-year-old dancer as the top-earning TikToker. Since her dance videos blew up the social network, she’s secured collaborations with Rebook, American Eagle, and Swedish watch brand Daniel Wellington. Addison will also debut her acting career in a remake of She’s All That.

Michael Le and Michael Uy

The two Michaels, both 20, are the co-founders of Shluv House, an LA-based TikTok collective. Le, also known as @justmaiko, has 47.3 million followers on TikTok and handles the collective’s creative angle. Uy handles the business side of things, like finding collaboration deals for the group.

What do these Forbes top influencers mean for influencer marketing?

Research suggests that influencer marketing will be worth $15 billion in 2021. The money’s there, and with so many influencers appearing in lists like 30 Under 30, the prestige is too. Influencer marketing has solidified its position in the modern economy.

The list demonstrates how far influencers can go, too. Whether it’s ending up interviewing Barack Obama, starring in movies, or starting your own influencer marketing agency, influencers can leverage their social media fame and skills as a creator to brand into other areas.

Finally, the presence of TikTokers in the list can’t be denied. The network was the most downloaded app of 2020 both on Android and IOS, and TikTokers are gaining more and more traction with brands. So if your brand hasn’t yet tried it out, discover how to use TikTok for influencer marketing.


These are a mere few of the influencers that appear in the Forbes 30 Under 30 lists for 2021. Their presence further solidifies the importance of the influencer industry, and by consequence, the potential for influencer marketing. To learn more about these influencers and the others that appear in the lists, visit Forbes 30 Under 30.