The French love their social media just as much as anybody else. Instagram, in particular, is the perfect medium for French influencers to demonstrate French culture – fashion, food, and art – not to mention a love of football.
When you look through our list of French influencers, you might be surprised by the range of topics in which they share their expertise: travel, modeling, comedy, lifestyle, music, and yes, football/soccer.
The French people do, of course, see themselves as part of the wider world, and they follow a few "outsiders" in large numbers. For this list, we have excluded Kardashian / Jenner family members and a few other non-French celebrities. Every influencer in this list is either based in France or has a definite French connection.
Top 20 Influencers in France:
Instagram Account: @k.mbappe
Followers: Total – 34.9M; French – 7.1M
The most popular influencer in France by far is Kylian Mbappé, a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the France national team. His social following in France is considerably higher than any American music star or socialite.
Fans consider him to be one of the best football players in the world, known for his finishing, dribbling, and speed.
Mbappé has a sponsorship deal with sportswear and equipment supplier Nike. He launched personalized football boots at age 18, the Kylian Mbappé Nike Hypervenom 3. He features in EA Sports' FIFA video game series, and in FIFA 18 he had the highest potential rating of 94.
Lucas Hauchard, known professionally as Squeezie, is a French Internet celebrity. As you can see from the above stats, he has a huge YouTube following (the largest for a French YouTuber).
Squeezie specializes in Let's Play commentaries and vlogs. He sometimes collaborates with Cyprien Iov (see below) on Bigorneaux & Coquillages (Winkles & Shells), a channel with over 6.4 million subscribers.
Instagram Account: @jessicathivenin
Followers: Total – 4.6M; French – 2.6M
Jessica Garcia is the married name of Jessica Thivenin, and she still uses her maiden name on her social accounts. You will find her husband, Thibault Garcia, further down this list.
She first found fame as a reality TV contestant, businesswoman, hairdresser, and model who made herself known in early 2014 in season 3 of Marseilles: The Marseillais in Rio. Her life since then reads like a Global soap opera.
Jessica acts as a travel influencer, with her Instagram posts focusing on Turkey, Dubai, Egypt, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives.
Don’t mistake her for the American actress fo the same (Garcia) name.
Instagram Account: @nabilla
Followers: Total – 4.8M; French – 2.6M
Nabilla Vergara is the married name of Nabilla Benattia. She is probably best known simply as Nabilla, however. She is a Franco-Swiss model and reality TV personality.
She became known in France for her one-liner "non, mais allô quoi" on les Anges de la télé-réalité, and the line was subsequently used in ads by brands such as IKEA and Carrefour. She has even registered the phrase as a trademark at the Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle.
People sometimes refer to her as the "French Kim Kardashian."
Cyprien Iov is better known by just Cyprien or Monsieur Dream. He is a French comedian, actor, dubber, and blogger known for his short comic YouTube videos.
He is considered to be the second-largest francophone videographer, beaten only by his regular filmmaking partner, Squeezie.
Cyprien began posting videos to a Dailymotion channel in April 2007, when he was 18. He has continued to make and post videos ever since, although his focus is now more on YouTube. He also works on French television and makes short films. His work includes acting, screenwriting, directing, and producing. He even played the part of a seagull in the French dub of the Spongebob Movie.
Norman Thavaud is a French comedian and blogger known for his short comic YouTube videos. He was born on April 14, 1987, in Arras, France.
Norman moved to Paris in 2005 to study cinema. He had a succession of jobs before becoming a video montage specialist.
He became part of the "Le Velcrou" comedic group in March 2008. "Le Velcrou" regularly posted comical videos on Dailymotion. Thanks to Le Velcrou, Norman met Cyprien Iov.
Norman opened his YouTube channel in late 2010. He records his videos in his Parisian flat.
Norman has also appeared on TV, taking part in several episodes of Very Bad Plagues by the Palmashow, a comic duo.
Instagram Account: @neymarjr
Followers: Total – 126.8M; French – 8.1M
Although footballer Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is Brazilian, he plays for French club Paris Saint-Germain and has a contract that will run until 2022. This has given him a substantial French social following.
He came into prominence at an early age at Santos, where he made his professional debut aged 17. The club won two successive Campeonato Paulista championships. Neymar was twice named the South American Footballer of the Year.
He relocated to Europe to join Barcelona in 2012. While he was there, the team won the continental treble of La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League.
In 2017, Neymar transferred from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in a move worth €222 million. This made him the most expensive player ever. To date, he has won two league titles, a Coupe de France, and a Coupe de la Ligue.
SportsPro named him the most marketable athlete in the world in 2012 and 2013, and ESPN cited him as the world's fourth-most famous athlete in 2016. Time included him in their list of most influential people in the world. In 2019, Forbes ranks him as the world's third highest-paid athlete.
Yvick Letexier, better known as Mister V, is a French video artist, comedian, and rapper. He grew up in Veurey-Voroize , a small town in the agglomeration of Grenoble.
He began making comedy videos as a podcast in 2008 on Dailymotion. Over time he developed his style, becoming the character, Mister V. He continued to make videos for Dailymotion until 2010, at which point he moved to YouTube.
In 2012, at the age of 19, he moved to Paris alone to concentrate on his professional projects.
He has also acted in some feature films and television programs. In 2011, he started making musical collaborations, opening a second music-based YouTube channel. He has since performed alongside many rappers. He released his first rap album in 2017.
David Coscas also calls himself David J’ai Caca, which rather bizarrely translates as “David I have poop." He is also the McFly half of entertainment duo, Mcfly & Carlito on YouTube. He often collaborates with Raphael Carlier, aka Carlito (see below).
The pair first became known on the YouTube Channel, Golden Mustache.
David and Raphael first met in High School at Albert Camus high school in Bois-Colombe. In 2003, they received and animated a program on Mov ' Radio. This was when David took on the pseudonym McFly.
Jazz Correia is a French reality TV candidate born on June 4, 1992. She has participated in several reality television shows, including Who Wants to Marry my Son (season 4), Angels 8, The Villa of Broken Hearts 2, and La Villa: The Battle of Couples.
Jazz is currently based in Dubai and uses her JLC Family YouTube channel to share her daily life in Dubai with her husband, Laurent, and their two children, Chelsea and Cayden.
Carla Moreau is a former hairdresser who owes her notoriety to reality TV. She has featured in Marseille, broadcast on W9 since 2012.
She launched her YouTube channel in 2018, where she shares cooking recipes, among other things.
Instagram Account: @thibaultgarcia
Followers: Total – 3.2M; French – 1.8M
Thibault Garcia is a business-man, YouTuber, and former reality TV performer who became known at the end of 2012 during the first season of Marseilles: The Marseillais in Miami.
He became engaged to fellow reality television star, Jessica Thivenin, in December 2018, marrying during the end of year celebrations.
Raphael Carlier, aka Raf Carlito, is half of YouTube duo, McFly & Carlito. He was born on August 30, 1986.
In 2013, the pair created a television show called The Fat Show on L'Enorme , which they published in parallel on their YouTube channel. They initially named their YouTube Channel after The Fat Show but changed it to reflect their nicknames in 2016.
Instagram Account: @karimbenzema
Topics: Sports, Soccer
Followers: Total – 30.5M; French – 3.6M
Karim Benzema is a French professional footballer who plays as a striker for Spanish club Real Madrid and the France national team. He was born in the city of Lyon and began his football career with local club Bron Terraillon. He then joined Olympique Lyonnais and subsequently came through the club's youth academy.
Benzema made his professional debut in the 2004–05 season. In 2007–08 season, Benzema became a starter and had a breakthrough year scoring over 30 goals.
In July 2009, Benzema moved to Real Madrid for a transfer fee worth over €35 million.
Marie Lopez is a blogger and French video artist who specializes in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. She has two additional channels, EnjoyVlogging and Enjoy Cooking. She was part of YouTube’s first poster campaign in France in 2014.
Instagram Account: @antogriezmann
Topics: Sports, Soccer
Followers: Total – 28.3M; French – 1.8M
Antoine Griezmann is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona and the French national team.
Although born and raised in Mâcon, Griezmann began his senior career as a member of the Spanish side Real Sociedad in 2009. He departed five seasons later to join Atlético Madrid for a then-club record €30 million. He broke that club's scoring record for a debut season. In July 2019, Griezmann departed Atlético to join league rivals Barcelona in a €120 million deal, making him the joint-fourth most expensive football player of all-time.
Instagram Account: @kevinguedj
Topics: Lifestyle, Fashion, Sports
Followers: Total – 1.9M; French – 1.1M
Kévin Guedj is a reality television star and business-man. He became a public figure in 2015, appearing in reality show Les Marseillais in Thailand. He has continued to appear in multiple series of Marseillais.
Kevin is known for his (very) many love conquests on-screen, earning him the nickname, Jaguar.
He has opened a restaurant in Trets and a Japanese restaurant.
Nathalie Odzierejko is better known as Natoo and is a French internet celebrity, vlogger, and actress of Polish descent. She is a member of the production collectives "Studio Bagel" and "Le Latte Chaud."
Nathalie was originally a policewoman in the Draveil night brigade, located in Essonne. However, with the success of her Natoo YouTube channel, she left the force to spend more time on her YouTube channel.
Instagram Account: @netflixfr
Topics: Lifestyle, Sports
Followers: Total – 2.9M; French – 1.6M
Notably, there is only one corporate account in this list of Top 20 Influencers in France, and that is for the French division of streaming giant Netflix.
Unsurprisingly, most of the videos posted on this channel relate to movies and television programs available on Netflix.
Instagram Account: @anaiscss7officiel
Followers: Total – 2M; French – 1.2M
Anaïs Camizuli is an influencer and former reality TV celebrity who made her name in 2013 in Secret Story 7. She later appeared in The Angels 6 (2014), The Angels 7 (2015), The Angels' Holidays (2015) and The Broken-Hearts Villa 2 (2016).
She left reality television in 2016, although she spent two days on the set of Angels 10 in 2018.