Social climbers: Kiwis on the social media rise

Spy News,
Publish Date
Thursday, 19 May 2016, 10:58PM
Photos / Instagram
Photos / Instagram

Six months ago, Spy presented a list of New Zealand's social media power players.

But seeing as half a year is a lifetime in social media circles, that list is already looking very different. So we thought it best to check out whose social media stock has been on the up since then...


In just over six months, this Kiwi pop star has increased her online followers by over 1 million - and her new album isn't even out yet.

Unless another Kiwi wins a few Grammys and is besties with an Instagram queen like Taylor Swift, Lorde is likely not going to face much of a contest at the top of this list.

Her recent social media highlights: Posing up with supermodel Karlie Kloss and designers Riccardo Tisci and Diane von Furstenberg; hanging with the Swift siblings at the Vanity Fair Oscars after party; her David Bowie Tribute at the Brits;  attending and singing at Coachella; and posing up a storm at The Met Gala in New York last month. Oh, and the Steven Adams fan club she started this week.


pool girl sleepy from last night's dancing 🐠🌞⛱😴

A photo posted by Lorde (@lordemusic) on Apr 16, 2016 at 12:26pm PDT


Richie McCaw – supported by Dan Carter

The nation breathed a sigh of relief when Captain Fantastic finally joined Facebook after winning a second Rugby World Cup late last year. 

Now sitting at 498,000, his followers have been treated to chopper pics, hiking shots and sponsorship videos.

His most important post was in January, announcing his engagement to Black Stick Gemma Flynn. McCaw's fiancee's stocks on Instagram have also shot up to 30,000.

Dan Carter, the man who welcomed his mate McCaw to social media, remains the nation's most followed man, however, and French fans are helping. Across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, they have taken Carter's stocks up by over 20% in the last six months.


A photo posted by Gemma Flynn (@gemflynn) on May 2, 2016 at 10:11pm PDT


Kayla Cullen

The Silver Fern now has over 30,000 Instagram followers, which is no surprise given how much her profile has risen over the last six months.

Her boyfriend, Warrior Shaun Johnson, has also grown his own social media following by 6,000 to 227,000.  

Cullen has previously admitted that Johnson wears the pants in their social media family, but we think their many mutual selfies have helped both their causes.



David Farrier

Journalist and documentary maker Farrier has always been a social media star in New Zealand. 

His posts across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are excellent. But it's the latter that has taken off the most – Farrier now sits at 60,000 Twitter followers. 

No doubt the success of his documentary Tickled has raised his profile both at home and abroad – and all his social media channels have been a great tool in communicating with US media intelligentsia and famous folk alike.



Frankie Adams

Now filming space drama series The Expanse in Canada, Adams has had a climb of over 10,000 followers in the last six month, mainly on her Instagram page, which now sits at 128,000 fans. 

Fans love Adams' laid back attitude to life, mixed with the sultry shots she shares online. Posting shots of her hot boyfriend, fellow actor Vinnie Bennett, hasn't hindered her following either. 


this uber has wifi

A photo posted by Frankie (@frankieadams) on Mar 28, 2016 at 11:48pm PDT


Nazanin Khanjani

Gasp! One 'bitchelorette' has surpassed the other on Instagram. 

"Nasty" Naz has passed Chrystal Chenery by 10,000 followers and is now sitting on 43,900 followers, double that of her fellow Season Two Bachelorettes. She may soon nip at the heels of everyone's favourite girl next door, Matilda Rice, who is still winning with a total stock of 79,800 followers.


Partying with my girl last night @nazanin.khanjani wearing a dress from my brand @tahira_collection

A photo posted by Claudia Conaglen (@claudiaconaglen) on May 14, 2016 at 7:01pm PDT


Manu Bennett

The Shannara Chronicles star is the Kiwi King of the Comic Con circuit and also posts at a rapid daily rate.

Bennett's Instagram fans have doubled in the last six months to 135,000. Combined with Twitter and Facebook, Bennett has over 800,000 followers. The legion of Lord of the Rings, Spartacus and Arrow fans have obviously helped his cause.


Facing the Devil

A photo posted by @manubennett on May 16, 2016 at 7:46pm PDT


Rose McIver

Over the last six months, this Kiwi actress' fame has blown out, with her Instagram followers doubling to 198,000 and her Twitter account gaining 30,000, now sitting at 106,000. 

New Zealand's most famous zombie may have the Comic Con fan circuit to thank as they grow ever more crazy for her in iZombie

And she has the social media game down pat, with her quirky photos and witty musings on Instagram still proving this starlet is more than just a pretty face.


Can't take me anywhere #naturalhistorymuseum #iZombie #mciversdoLA

A photo posted by Rose McIver (@imrosemciver) on Apr 26, 2016 at 3:17pm PDT


Georgia Fowler vs Stella Maxwell

In a showdown of the Kiwi Victoria’s Secret models, Georgia Fowler's catwalk cred and links to famous men (including yesterday's flirtation with Leonardo DiCaprio), have her on 129,000 Instagram followers – double the number six months ago.

However, this does pale in comparison somewhat with Belgian-born, Kiwi-raised Stella Maxwell, who sits at 1.6 million followers. 

Blondes really do have more fun it seems, especially when they have ex-girlfriends like Miley Cyrus.


On set w my @victoriassecret family 💖hair and m/u glam team by @earlsimms2 @deannahaganmua

A photo posted by Stella! (@stellamaxwell) on Mar 23, 2016 at 6:25am PDT


Max Key

His Facebook game isn't as good as his Insta, but the social stocks of the Prime Minister's son have risen considerably and we know they climb every time we report about his antics.

The aspiring DJ is sitting at 33,000 Instagram followers - double his famous Dad's. Key Jnr has watched his Instagram stock grow faster than possibly anything his dad may have seen at Merrill Lynch.   

Key Snr doesn't have too much to worry about though - his combined Twitter and Facebook following still sits at over 500,000.



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