Top 10 Swedish Instagram accounts


My favourite photo app Instagram continues to grow and reached 400 million active users per month last fall. Many Swedish brands, celebrities and skilled photographers have been able to build huge followings on Instagram.

The 20 largest Swedish accounts added approximately 5 percent more followers last month (between Dec 4, 2015 and Jan 4, 2016).

18 Instagram accounts now have at least a million followers

You now have to have more than 100,000 followers to be among the top 100 Instagram accounts in Sweden. At least 18 of them have more than a million followers, not bad for a country of less than 10 million people. But then again, the most successful users all have an international audience.

The Swedish brand with most followers is H&M – 11.8 million (global account, they have several local accounts too).

Among individuals, PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Swedish Youtuber Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg are in a league of their own. Excluding businesses, the top 10 accounts in Sweden are (data collected on Jan 4, 2016):

  1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 10.7 million
  2. Pewdiepie – 6,900,000
  3. Tattoos of Instagram – 3,200,000
  4. Avicii – 3 million
  5. Men with class – 2,700,000
  6. Anna Nyström – 2,100,000
  7. Elsa Hosk – 2 million
  8. Maher Zain – 1,800,000
  9. Rachel “Yoga Girl” Bråthén – 1,700,000
  10. Alesso – 1,600,000

Note: I am @kullin on Instagram

Twitter suspends Zlatan Ibrahimovic parody account without notice

zlatan twitter account

A parody Twitter account with about 90,000 followers was suspended yesterday without warning. The account @ZIbrahomovic has been entertaining Twitter users for almost two years with funny, but fake, quotes from Swedish football icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The account has been up front with the fact that it is not the real Zlatan, but that hasn’t stopped several Swedish news outlets from publishing it as real quotes. SVT, the Swedish public service tv channel, once published a fake quote that said:

“If FIFA does not give me the Ballon d’Or I need to talk to Santa Claus”

And Dagens Nyheter, the largest Swedish daily, once published a quote that read:

“Ronaldo will never play in PSG. They don’t produce as much hairspray in France as he needs.”

Both fake, of course. But now the parody account has been closed down without a warning, which is a bit odd, since there are plenty of other accounts that are allowed to continue as long as they state in the Twitter bio that they are not the person or company they pretend to be.

Funny Twitter chat
The closing down of “fake Zlatan” coincides with a hilarious Twitter Q&A that the real Ibrahimovic (@ibra_official) held yesterday under the Nike campaign hashtag #daretozlatan. Whether there is a connection between the two things remains to be seen. Zlatan’s PR Manager has declined that he has asked Twitter to suspend the account.

Metro in the UK has a list of some of the great chat responses from Ibra. Read them here. If you ask me, they are a little to good to be from Zlatan himself, but then again, I’m a born skeptic…

Cristiano Ronaldo launches his own social network – Viva Ronaldo

Sweden’s world class football striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic changed his relationship with media when he launched his own app, “Zlatan Unplugged“. Instead of just talking directly to journalists, a lot of quotes in articles today are from statements in his app. And now another football icon, Cristiano Ronaldo, ups the ante by launching his own social network Viva Ronaldo (Where my true fans belong…), complete with an app for iPhone and Android devices.

vivaronaldo social network

The community site features a stream of tweets from the official Viva Ronaldo Twitter account alongside tweets from fans who tag their tweets #vivaronaldo. I think it’s a nice feature to include fan tweets live on the site.

viva ronaldo twitter

In the app, you are able to interact with other fans, play games and win prizes and of course read updates and watch images and videos from CR7. And if you’re lucky, Ronaldo may even like your pictures.

Viva Ronaldo app

Ronaldo recently opened up his own museum on Madeira, he is also the most popular athlete on Facebook, Twitter and has more than 11 million followers on Chinese Sina Weibo. So it’s not surprising that he launches his own social network. Or as Yahoo Sports declares:

“This is all a precursor to the inevitable Church of Ronaldo, which will make Scientology look like a flexible neighborhood bookclub.”

The problem with Twitter handles of sports stars

I just read an article (in Swedish) today about the top EURO 2012 football players in social media. It reveals that Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo is the footballer with most followers on Twitter and Facebook, in total 56 million followers (10.3 on Twitter and 45.9 on Facebook). Add to that the he also has 6.6 million followers on the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, Tencent Weibo.

The article doesn’t link to the official accounts of the sports stars, which is why I decided to write this blog post. You see, the correct accounts are sometimes very hard to find, especially on Twitter and certainly when media like Dagens Media misspell their names.

cristiano ronaldo

I see three main reasons for this.

The first is that many celebrities have had their real names “brandjacked” by people pretending to be them, forcing them to make up Twitter handles that are, well, “creative”. For example, Manchester United defender (not in the EURO 2012 for controversial reasons) Rio Ferdinand’s Twitter handle is @rioferdy5 instead of the anticipated @rioferdinand (which is not active). Ferdinand would have no trouble taking over the handle with his real name if he wanted to. I have done that myself for several well known brands.

The second reason it is hard to find the official accounts is that neither Twitter nor Facebook have especially good search engines of their own. Sometimes you may get the best result, but not always. A third reason is that Twitter is not doing much to remove fake accounts that pose as official. A search on Twitter for “Rio Ferdinand” displays a number of fake “official” accounts. The one with the handle “RIOFERDY5” is actually not the same as “rioferdy5” since the “I” is in fact the letter “L”.

rio ferdinand twitter

The inability to be sure that an account is an official account causes a lot of unnecessary confusion, especially for the celebrities when media sometimes quote fake tweets. Italian Serie A club AC Milan tweeted that a fake account was in fact the official one by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of its star players. There is still a lot of confusion around if he even has an account, a PR agency once confirmed that they run one account on behalf of him or his team, but Ibrahimovic himself seems oblivious to the fact that he is on Twitter.

Ferdinand’s team mate Wayne Rooney used to be know as @Wazzaroon08 on Twitter, but is now @WayneRooney.

Another uncertain account is that of Leo Messi, the world’s top footballer. Certainly a player like him, who has 36 million Facebook fans, would have more than some 90,000 followers on Twitter? But his own club, FC Barcelona, is following one account (@messi_barcelona) that should be the official one, one would assume. It has only 93,000 followers and if you click on the link in the bio, you get a warning message from, saying this link is potentially not safe to click (I haven’t clicked, so I don’t know if it is safe). The account has only tweets automatically published via Twitterfeed, so by the looks of it, this is not the real deal.

bitly warning

Then again, is the @FCB account really an official account for the club? Seems so, because @andresiniesta8 is following it.

This confusion is not good for anyone, so Twitter should take more responsibility for removing fake accounts and maybe we as users can be more active in reporting them. Then again, the option we have is to report accounts for spamming, and that’s not really what this is about, so they label on that button may deter many from reporting these accounts. Celebrities and brands on the other hand, should be more active in trying to get their accounts labelled “verified”, which I still see as the best proof that an account belongs to an official source.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is finally on Twitter

International top media outlets like Gazetta dello Sport, Sky Italia, AP and Al Jazeera have been fooled by people pretending to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Twitter. Even his own club AC Milan has been fooled by a Twitter impersonator. His agent Mino Raiola told Sky Sports back in October 2010 that Ibra is not on Twitter. But finally it seems that the Swedish striker has launched an official Twitter account at @Ibra_official. In a post on Facebook on Feb 14 he states that we now can follow him on Twitter as well.


The first tweet was on Jan 15th.

Tweets are automatically posted via the official Facebook page, which currently has 2.5 million fans. How can we be sure this time it is the official account? Well, it has been confirmed by the Danish PR agency The Perfect Brands that they represent Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The agency is posting the updates so Ibra himself is not tweeting. Not yet, at least.

Via Ajour.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not on Facebook, but his fans are

Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo uses both Facebook and Twitter to connect with fans. His official fan page on Facebook just reached 20 million “likes”, which is an amazing number. His Twitter account has close to 1.8 million followers.

The Swedish footballer who is closest to Ronaldo’s star status is AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but as I have blogged before, he is not active on Twitter. Apparently he and/or his agent don’t bother too much about protecting the “Ibra” brand online. By the looks of it, he is not in control of the domain name and he has left Twitter open to a range of imposters. So what about Facebook? Well, for starters, he has not grabbed the vanity URL It belongs to one Aymen Ak. An official page is nowhere to be found.

As is often the case, fans take matters into their own hands and create “fan” pages. The largest one currently has 725,000 fans and a community page has more than 100,000.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic facebook fan page

I don’t know if Ibrahimovic is just not interested in talking to his fans, is satisfied with his current “level of stardom” or if he has the wrong advisors. Either way, I am convinced that he could strengthen his brand even further if he would start to engage just a little with his millions of fans through social media. Better to start now, than after the career has ended.