Instagram is rapidly becoming the biggest force among the many social media giants. It has found itself well over a billion regular monthly users and only seems to be growing. It is far from a perfect representation of the whole world, but it represents a large chunk of the population and all of the things that they are interested in.
As we have explained in our article covering reach and impressions, it is one thing to have a large audience and another thing for them to be engaged with your content. So while it can be interesting to wonder about who has more followers, another number to pay attention to is who gets the most likes. It’s not practical or perhaps even possible to tally all the likes an Instagram account has in total, but the most liked individual posts can be found out quite easily. Some of them even come with a good story.
If you’ve already read our article on the Instagram accounts with the most followers, then you might be able to guess some of the most popular posts. Bigger accounts can get likes easier, that’s just the reality of social media. Though there are a few surprises if you don’t stay constantly up to date on Instagram news.
Without further delay, here are the top 20 Instagram posts with the most likes, and a little about each of them.
20. Kylie Jenner — A Picture of Her and Her Daughter, 14 million likes
As a warning, you’re going to want to get used to seeing Kylie’s name, she’s got more than a few posts on this list.
The first one up is a lovely picture of her lying in bed with her daughter, Stormi. The picture has an incredibly heartwarming caption by Kylie where she professes her love and appreciation of her daughter. There isn’t a whole lot more you can say about the post unless you care to discuss the phenomenal photo quality.
19. Cristiano Ronaldo — A Video of Him Exercising, 14.1 million likes
Maybe also get ready to see this name a few times as well. Soccer is easily the biggest sport on the globe, and no sane person can doubt the devotion of its fans. Christiano happens to be probably the biggest name in the sport right now, and it doesn’t heart that he’s a charismatic guy.
You might expect a bit of thirst to be responsible for this post’s reception. It might be a factor but probably less than you’d first expect. The video is rather tame but fun. It features him singing and “dancing” along to a song while on his exercise bike, along with a gorgeous scenic backdrop.
18. Kobe Bryant — His Final Post, 14.18 million likes
This post is much more sobering than the first two. At a glance, there isn’t anything special or noteworthy about the post, so it might seem strange how it has so many likes. Unfortunately, it was the last Instagram post made by basketball legend Kobe Bryant before his sudden and tragic death.
Many people came back to the post after the news of his death went public to use the post as a sort of memorial. You can see many people still leaving heartfelt comments, almost a full year after he initially posted it.
17. Kylie Jenner — Modeling with Travis Scott, 14.2 million likes
Here she is again, this time looking a bit less motherly and a lot more fierce. This picture has her modeling some sweet looking clothes designed by Givenchy, along with her boyfriend Travis Scott. Scott is also the father of Stormi.
The picture is otherwise a bit unremarkable, other than it being the most recent of Kylie’s posts to make the top 20. It does show that she has an impressive following since a somewhat random picture can launch itself so high into the most liked posts rankings.
16. Christiano Ronald — Birthday Picture, 14.3 million likes
Another repeated name on this list. Ronaldo comes in again with a post that is much more wholesome. It features him posing over his slick-looking birthday cake alongside his lovely family.
While not his most recent post in the top 20, it is his most recent birthday post, so we might see him break his record next year.
15. Kylie Jenner — Video with Stormi, 14.4 million likes
Here she is again, going back to the motherly and wholesome side of her content. This time, instead of a picture with her daughter, Kylie posted a video of her curling up beside her daughter and putting her head in Stormi’s lap. Add in a heart-melting background song and an adorable caption, and you have a recipe for huge likes on your hands.
It’s also kinda crazy to see how much Stormi has grown up in the span of just this post and the one in the 20th spot, which was posted only a few months earlier.
14. Selena Gomez — Beach Album with Her Friends, 14.43 million likes
Selena Gomez is a hugely popular Instagram personality, coming in just behind Kylie Jenner in terms of followers.
This cute album she posted featured her and some close friends having a fun day at the beach to celebrate one of Selena’s friends getting engaged. The most enjoyable thing about the post was how similar the pictures looked to the ones everyone takes with their friends at the beach — no over the top production or tailored angles, just some good friends having good times.
13. Selena Gomez — Picture of Herself in Italy, 14.45 million likes
Selena has the somewhat meaningless but still cool distinction of being the only person to have posts back-to-back in the top 20. The likes margins on some of these rankings are razor-thin though, so that might change at the drop of a hat.
This time, she appeared solo, for seemingly no other reason than wanting to take a great picture, and boy did she succeed. The sunset, her dress, her makeup, the romantic backdrop, all came together for a stunning scene.
12. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson — Wedding Photos, 14.5 million likes
The Rock went from being the most electrifying man in all of sports entertainment to being one of the biggest celebrities on the planet, in more ways than one.
He has one of the most followed accounts on Instagram, and his followers showed up in full force to show their support when he posted two pictures from his lovely wedding day. Never one to shy away from a bit of showmanship, The Rock made sure to host the wedding in Hawaii and take some breathtaking photos of the occasion.
11. Kylie Jenner — Stormi in the Bathtub, 15.3 million likes
Kylie seems to have some sort of special power to keep getting likes on her Instagram posts. This one is simple but no less cute. It’s just a nice photo of her daughter, Stormi, poking her head through the bubbles in her bath. No bells or whistles past that – Kylie even kept it simple with the caption.
One fun thing to note: of the many posts Kylie has gotten onto this list, this is the only one where she is not pictured at all. This one is all her daughter. You can maybe argue that she shouldn’t count as being in one of the posts she has later on this list, but that discussion is best saved for then. Wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.
10. LeBron James — In Remembrance of Kobe Bryant, 15.4 million likes
Another humbling note takes place on this list relating to the number 18 spot.
LeBron James posted a picture of him and Kobe high-fiving during a game, captioned with a long explanation of his feelings at the news of his friend’s death. Not unlike Kobe’s final post, the image itself is unremarkable and had it never been for his sudden death, it may never have been noteworthy. However, the simple shot is oddly humbling, as is LeBron’s words.
9. TenTree — Likes for a Good Cause, 15.5 million likes
This is a post on a much lighter note. This account posted this picture with the intention that a tree would be planted for every like it received. The campaign was a huge success, and the amount of likes continues to go up every day.
The post comes at a time when more and more people are growing aware and concerned about the future of the environment. It was only a small effort to support a good cause, and people were happy to give it. It is a bit of a refreshing change of pace from celebrities getting all the attention by posting pictures of themselves.
8. Kylie Jenner — Wishing Travis Scott a Happy Birthday, 16 million likes
Surely you didn’t think you’d seen the last of her name on this list.
This was a post made to commemorate Travis Scott’s Birthday. Scott is Jenner’s boyfriend and the father of Stormi. Normally Kylie is a bit minimalist with the content of her posts, so this one certainly stands out. There are nearly ten pictures and two videos in a single post, as well as a lavish caption. Her words may not have been profound, but it’s hard to deny how heartfelt they were.
7. Lionel Messi — In Remembrance of Diego Maradona, 16.2 million likes
Messi is a hugely popular footballer, much like Christiano Ronaldo. This post was a simple homage he paid after hearing about the death of Maradona. Maradona was a former Argentine footballer, some say one of the best to ever play the game.
It’s hard not to draw a comparison of this and LeBron honoring Kobe. Though Messi respected and looked up to Maradona, more so than considering him a close friend, and you can see it in the way he presented the post.
6. Jennifer Anniston — Friends Back Together, 16.3 million likes
Anniston was one of the lead actors in the massively successful sitcom Friends. After the show ended, despite all the main characters supposedly being friends in real life, it wasn’t common to see them together, which is why this reunion selfie came out of nowhere.
What adds to the novelty is that this was Anniston’s first ever post on Instagram. Shortly after, she became the fastest account on record to ever get to one million followers. Serious, the people at Guinness verified it and everything.
5. Kylie Jenner — First Picture of Stormi, 18.5 million likes
Jenner’s final appearance on this list is not only wholesome, but it also held the number 1 spot for the most like Insta post of all time for a while before it was eventually dethroned.
Kylie’s fanbase was avidly waiting for an update on her pregnancy and the delivery, and when she finally posted the first picture of her adorable child, Instagram practically exploded. Whether or not you are a fan of Kylie, you have to admit that this is a sweet moment that deserves to be one of the most liked posts of all time.
4. Chadwick Boseman — Family Announcing His Death, 19.1 million likes
From celebrating life unto mourning loss. Fair warning: the next few entries on this list were not made under happy occasions.
Chadwick Boseman was a beloved celebrity, whose casting as the Black Panther in the wildly popular Marvel Avengers franchise turned him into a household name and inspiration for many.
He lost a long-time battle with cancer, and the announcement made by his family on his Instagram account is heartbreaking to read. Not many people knew about Boseman’s condition, making his death that much more jarring for the world.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo — In Remembrance of Diego Maradona, 19.4 million likes
Diego’s death was truly a somber day in the world for soccer fans. Many people took the opportunity to say some words to commemorate his memory, Ronaldo included.
His honoring of Maradona looked not unlike Messi’s and came at almost the same time Ronaldo has the much greater following, so it only makes sense he got so much higher on this list. Their homages to Maradona are the most recent posts on this list, which shows how suddenly the rankings can change under the right circumstances.
2. XXXTentacion — His Final Post, 22.4 million likes
Another instance of a celebrity’s final Instagram post unintentionally becoming a memorial for them. XXXTentacion was a beloved musician who was still quite young and in the middle of his career. The circumstances of his death were quite tragic, and for some reason caused a great deal of drama. Many people spoke up saying that he was not the kind of person who should be honored, which perhaps inspired his fans to come out with vehement support for him.
Regardless, the innocuous post serves as a reminder to many of how suddenly it could all be over. You can still go to the post right now and see people posting comments from only a few minutes ago, sharing their love for the lost artist.
1. World Record Egg — A Picture of an Egg, 55 million likes
That’s it. A picture of an egg.
Okay, so that’s not all there is to this story, but it’s not that far off.
To try and make a long and layered story as short as possible, someone made an Instagram account called @world_record_egg intending to have a picture of an egg become the Instagram post with the most likes of all time. They more than succeeded.
It took the egg only ten days to become the most-liked post on Instagram of all time. Just over two months later, the post had nearly triple the likes of the second most liked Insta post. Not only is it the record holder for all of Instagram, but it is currently the most liked post in the history of the internet.
Not many people were aware of who created the egg or why. Initially, many people thought it was a bit of a joke and was trying to spite Kylie Jenner, who previously held the title of the most liked post for a long time. The egg quickly overtook her and became a global sensation. Memes were made about the situation, and Kylie even posted a meme about the egg.
Some people tried to step forward and claim they were the ones who created the egg phenomenon and were all subsequently called out as liars by the egg account itself. It was eventually revealed that Chris Godfrey, an advertising creative, came up with the idea of the egg.
As time went on, the account started posting more pictures than just the initial egg. Some of the posts showed the egg slowly cracking. More pictures got posted by the account, until it made a post where the cracks resembled the stitchings on a football, hinting at the upcoming Super Bowl.
The egg was finally revealed to be a part of a campaign by Hulu to promote mental health awareness — the cracking of the egg due to social media pressure being a metaphor. The unmitigated success of the whole event has become a studying point for marketers, baffling experts even to this day.