Five years ago, the term 'social media influencer' didn't even exist. Now, if you ask kids in school what they want to be when they grow up, some of them might say that they want to be famous on the internet.
But fame is not the only thing that comes with the title. It takes a lot of time, effort and passion (in other words, blood, sweat and tears) to get to where these Insta-famous people are today.
You may not be able to physically see or fully understand what they do behind the scenes, hence why it is so easy to judge a book by its cover and roll your eyes when you hear that someone is an influencer.
Nevertheless, we should give respect where it is due because they must have done something right, or else you wouldn't have seen their faces or heard their names, right? Whether they are content creators, singers, actors or models, their creativity has gotten them 'verified'.
And speaking of which, one of the reasons why they’ve been so successful this year is because of how accessible their contents are. But we know the struggle; sometimes you really want to watch that MGAG video, but you don’t want to drain your mobile data. Well, you don’t have to worry about all that with U Mobile’s Unlimited Power Prepaid pack
, which gives you unlimited high-speed internet to stalk all your favourite social media influencers (more on this in a second).
Anyway, back to the topic. As 2017 draws to a close, let's look back at some of the local influencers or KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) you probably saw creep up on your social media feed somewhere sometime this year.
Disclaimer: This list does not include celebrities or artists that have breached millions of followers, so if you don't see your favourites here,
Disclaimer 2: Also, we would like to point out that these social media influencers are not, in any way, official U Mobile endorsers or spokespersons.
Josephine Yap (@jyjosephine)
"Hello, humans!" is Josephine’s favourite tagline in all her video introductions. She first broke out while playing a lead role in one of JinnyboyTV’s short films last year, The Girl That Changed Me
. Since then, she has gone on to appear in several other popular YouTube videos and made a name for herself.
Josephine’s following naturally grew rapidly within a span of less than two years all thanks to her sweet face and bubbly personality. She currently has more than 240,000 followers on Instagram and we bet she’ll hit quarter of a million before we ring in the New Year!
When people couldn’t get enough of Josephine on camera, she created her own YouTube channel and started posting vlogs that have accumulated more than 1.7 million views to date in less than one year!
Follow Josephine: Instagram
Harvinth Skin (@harvinthskin)
Harvinth has arguably become one of the most popular machas
in the past year. Just go to his YouTube channel and you’ll understand why. And do take his content with a pinch of salt, okay? It’s all just in the name of good fun and entertainment!
One of the videos he made that you may have seen appear on your news feed was when he compared Indian parents and white parents.
But Harvinth isn’t just another funny guy on YouTube. He raps pretty well too! We need to see more of your rapping, macha
Follow Harvinth: Instagram
Jenn Chia (@soimjenn)
Jenn first started out singing in an indie band, writing songs and performing at random gigs around Klang Valley. If you scan through her YouTube channel, you’ll see that she started posting song covers eight years ago!
Not only is she a talented singer, Jenn also has a big personality that lights up every room she enters, one which landed her a role as one of the hosts on The 8TV Quickie several years back.
Some of her #GilaJenn moments have really put her on the map in the local industry as a content creator. She seems to show it so well that it never gets over the top.
One of our personal favourite online personas of hers is when she turns into a ‘Chinese girlfriend annoying her ang moh
boyfriend’. What makes it better? Her real-life ang moh
boyfriend Jon Liddel who does such a good job layan
ing her #GilaJenn ways!
Follow Jenn: Instagram
Talitha Tan (@talithabe)
Like Jenn, Talitha is also a singer-songwriter who first tried her luck on the internet posting song covers on YouTube.
Although her sweet voice did get a lot of attention, it was her fitness side that was a complete contrast to her musical talents which drew a different crowd. Just look at her biceps!
Within a short span of time, Talitha has become an inspiration as a sports enthusiast and parkour athlete. She also started participating in power-lifting competitions this year!
When she is not doing chin-ups or running marathons, Talitha is working hard towards her dream as an established recording artist. She has officially released two singles so far, 'Okay' and 'Please Stay', and is fast-becoming one of the most popular young Malaysian artists in recent years.
By the way, did you spot her performing next to Manbai at the closing ceremony of the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 2017 this year? What an achievement!
Follow Talitha: Instagram
Luqman Podolski (@luqmanpodolski)
Luqman and his silly wig must be the most-followed influencer in our list this year. Not many um... not-so-open-minded people may be able to handle his comedy sketches, but his 1.3 million followers must think otherwise!
He follows trending topics very closely and puts his own comical spin to it that his own videos end up becoming viral as well!
' has turned into a popular saying among those who are well-versed with our local social media lingo. It is a term made famous by Luqman himself after all, one that takes a stab at all the overly sensitive haters, to put it bluntly.
Follow Luqman: Instagram
Brynn Lovett (@brynn.lovett)
Brynn is a talented dancer who made a name for herself when she represented Malaysia on the world stage as Miss World Malaysia in 2015.
After completing her pageant cycle, Brynn began to build her social portfolio hosting events and endorsing products. Her active lifestyle also landed her exclusive invites to some of the most happening gigs and transformed her into one of the most sought-after influencers in town.
And in case you didn't know, Brynn has an identical twin! #lovettlivinglife
Follow Brynn: Instagram
Mina Rosli (@minaros3)
We first featured Mina Rosli in our list of Malaysian beauty bloggers to follow
last year. She has since traded in her ultra colourful hair for a more subtle look. But one thing that hasn't changed is her creative makeup tutorials.
Mina started off uploading makeup tutorials on YouTube, just like every other beauty YouTuber, two years ago. Her video tutorials are so easy to follow that she easily gained a solid following in less than one year.
This year, she began focusing more on posting mini tutorials on Instagram that you can just gobble up in a minute. Besides sharing beauty content, she is also filling up her Instagram grid with photos of her droolworthy healthy meals and adorable pet cats.
Follow Mina: Instagram
Adam Shamil (@adamshamil)
Adam is a proud Sabahan who became famous on YouTube for his funny yet educational videos about the ever-so-misunderstood Borneo.
One of his earlier videos that had gone viral was when he wanted people to 'Get It Right' about the difference between the Indonesian language and Sabahan Malay, which are often thought to be the same. The video hit 200,000 videos in a single week, and that was how Adam's YouTube career started.
Another popular segment of his that never fails to win the hearts of fans is when he features his best friend a.k.a. his grandmother, 'Son Bullies'. She is so sporting and entertaining in his videos that we've got to admit, sometimes we're more excited to see her than Adam himself! (Just kidding, Adam. Jangan merajuk!
Follow Adam: Instagram
Shikin Gomez (@shikingomez)
Hello, first runner-up of 'Asia's Next Top Model Cycle 5'! In the past year, Shikin has become one of the most successful models to ever come out of Malaysia.
I want to take this moment to thank everyone from Fox Network, Sponsors, crew members from Refinery Media, directors, story producers, executive producers, Judges, contestants handlers, makeup and hair team, the Top 14 girls and everyone else who is involved in @asntm . Every single one of you had made this experience a lifetime memories for me to look back on. I love and appreciate everyone involved. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! #asntm #asntm5 #expecttheunexpected #malaysiaontop #teamshikin #shikinnuggets
Strutting her stuff on glamorous runways and posing for some of the biggest editorials in the region, just head over to her Instagram feed and you'll know why she managed to attract a solid following within one year.
Follow Shikin: Instagram
Alicia Amin (@hangriii)
How can you talk about 'Asia's Next Top Model' without mentioning Alicia? She was also a fellow contestant representing Malaysia in the reality show alongside Shikin Gomez.
But other than her photogenic face and posture, Alicia also made headlines as a modern Malay female who is not afraid to voice out her opinions. On her Facebook page, calls herself an 'Advocate of Equal Opportunity', most likely after past photos of her posing in less conservative photos resurfaced on social media.
Nevertheless, Alicia is a talented model and aspiring actor who has been featured in several local music videos.
Follow Alicia: Instagram
Jazel Lim (@jazelxlim)
Jazel is a fun-sized beauty and fitness junkie who is of mixed heritage - Chinese, Filipino and Spanish. Her doll-like features and happy-go-lucky personality attract a lot of companies and brands to promote their products and services.
On days when she is not a social butterfly, Jazel also dabbles in a little bit of acting. You have probably seen her cameo in a number of local YouTube sketches and short films.
Being surrounded with popular YouTubers like JinnyboyTV and Dennis Yin has also influenced her to hop on the vlogging bandwagon this year. One of her first videos was her experience meeting Bebe Rexha in the flesh!
Follow Jazel: Instagram
Sean Lee (@seanlje)
Sean is another local social media success stories who first started making videos on YouTube four years ago. But when his YouTube career didn't take off as he had intended in the beginning, something else took off instead.
Sean fulfilled one of his dreams to become an actor and quickly gained a group of loyal fans, which he calls the 'LJENS', after acting in a local drama on TV, Keluarga Pontimau
. He recently wrapped up filming for a Malaysian adaptation of popular Korean drama, My Coffee Prince
When he is not busy chasing shooting schedules and press interviews, Sean directs his focus on his first love - YouTube.
Follow Sean: Instagram
We really don't think MGAG needs any introduction. You can pretty much guess by their name itself what they do for a living. Their primary mission is "to make every Malaysian's day a better one" with their daily dose of Malaysian humour.
So regardless of your age or where you come from, their memes and parodies have certainly creeped up on your Facebook timeline in one way or another.
Come on, don't tell us you haven't heard of the famous ABCDE, Asian Mom and Uncle Siu Mai? If that is really the case, you know what to do now.
Follow MGAG: Facebook
Harry Kok Siew Yok (@harrykoksiewyok)
This puppet claims to be more Malaysian than any of us because... he's THE Malaysian. He came into the picture just a few months ago but this
Malaysian has become a fast favourite among Malaysians because of his no-filter comments and statements.
We had a fairly good laugh ourselves when he met him for a chat recently.
Follow Harry Kok: Instagram
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