‘Life Hack’ Star Khaby Lame Is 2024’s Biggest TikToker—But Charli D’Amelio Is Close Behind

Published 6 days ago
By Forbes | Molly Bohannon
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TOPLINE

Khabane “Khaby” Lame, a TikTok user known for his videos silently mocking absurd “life hack” clips, is the most followed TikToker through the first half of this year with over 162 million followers—putting him about 7 million over second-place Charli D’Amelio.

KEY FACTS

Lame—who was named No. 11 on last year’s Forbes Top Creators list—is a Senegalese-Italian social media personality who rose to popularity on the app after he began duetting and stitching life hack videos and highlighting their complicated nature.

Lame has been the most followed TikToker since 2022, when he passed D’Amelio—who grew to fame for dancing videos and has since become a fashion and lifestyle influencer as well.

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Since last July, Lame has added about 2 million followers on TikTok, according to data from SocialBlade, a data analytics site tracking social media followings—but D’Amelio has added about 4.3 million, helping her close the gap.

The top five most followed haven’t changed much since this time last year, when Lame and D’Amelio still held the top spots, though the bottom three positions have shifted around with Mr. Beast moving up two spots, Bella Poarch moving up two spots and Addison Rae dropping to fifth place.

SURPRISING FACT

Though he is the most followed TikToker, Lame isn’t really near the top in terms of most likes on the app. He places 26th in that category with 2.4 billion likes, according to SocialBlade, and D’Amelio holds the title of No. 1 with 11.7 billion likes.

BIG NUMBER

$16.5 million. That’s Forbes’ estimate for Lame’s earnings from June 2022 to September 2023. In September, Lame was getting around $750,000 to highlight a product in a TikTok and Instagram post.

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TOP 5 MOST FOLLOWED TIKTOK USERS (AS OF JUNE 30)

  1. Khaby Lame: 162,600,000
  2. Charli D’Amelio: ​​155,400,000
  3. MrBeast: 96,900,000
  4. Bella Poarch: 94,200,000
  5. Addison Rae: 88,800,000

KEY BACKGROUND

Lame grew his following without ever saying a word, focusing his short videos instead on silent critiques of other posts as opposed to sharing his life experiences, which is how many other creators have found success on the app. Lame began using TikTok after he was laid off from his factory job in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview with Forbes last year after he was named one of the magazine’s top creators, Lame said when he first started making videos people told him to get “a proper job … but I continued to make videos because that’s what I like doing, even though no one was watching them.” Now that people are watching him, he has raked in a number of partnerships, working with major companies and stars. Lame has been in TikToks with Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise, been in a Super Bowl commercial and taken penalty kicks with David Beckham. He has also branched out from TikTok and debuted a short film, “I Am Khabane,” which documents his story of finding success online, at the Taormina Film Festival in Italy last summer.

TANGENT

TikTok is currently facing a ban in the U.S. after President Joe Biden signed a law requiring its China-based parent company ByteDance to sell it before Jan. 19, 2025 or be banned. TikTok and a group of users are in the process of appealing the law, arguing that it violates the First Amendment and would stop a way of communicating that has become “part of American life.” A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments in the case in September, just four months before the ban or sale is required.