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Data: Axios Research; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The creator economy has produced thousands of social media entrepreneurs who have built mega-audiences in the millions — larger than many media companies. Often, they operate in parallel universes, with little overlap between platforms.

Why it matters: What differentiates social platforms is no longer their features, but their values and communities. What makes one person popular on one platform may not make them remotely interesting or influential on another.

For example: Mr. Bean, a fictional British sitcom character, is the 4th most popular page on Facebook, with 129 million followers. He has just 215,000 followers on Twitter.

Driving the news: According to an Axios analysis of the top 50 most-followed accounts on each platform, TikTok is especially unique in minting its own stars who don't blow up on other platforms.

  • The top five most-followed accounts on TikTok — Charli D'Amelio, Khaby Lame, Addison Rae, Bella Poarch and Zach King — do not rank in the top 50 of any other social media network.
  • Collectively, those five stars have 480 million followers on TikTok, but less than half of that amount of followers across Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook combined.
  • Top TikTok personalities have been able to land massive Hollywood deals across film, TV and podcasts, without building audiences on other platforms.

The personalities of each platform are illustrated by the 50 biggest accounts:

  • TikTok favors individual creators that built their presence on the platform, rather than heavily resourced entertainment organizations. Outsized success of dancing and lip-syncing accounts stems from its origin as Musical.ly.
  • On YouTube, the top accounts are bigger music and entertainment operations, often international. Among the 20 most-followed accounts: six are from India, four from the U.S., three from South Korea, two from Russia.
  • Facebook gives an edge to brands thanks to its design, which encourages users to 'like' any type of page, whether or not it produces content. Chinese news organizations are four of the 21 biggest accounts, and accounts from China don't appear on the top 50 list of any of the other platforms.
  • Instagram is the place to be a celebrity — it offers the opportunity to show off your lifestyle and be a tastemaker. The followings on Instagram are higher than any other platform.
  • Twitter also rewards celebrity, but on a smaller scale than Instagram. People known for their ideas can also build a following: It is the only platform with politicians and business leaders in the top 50.

The big picture: While there is some overlap across each platform, the very top performers tend to be widely different.

  • Sports stars and actors shine on Facebook and Instagram, while musicians do better on YouTube and TikTok, naturally.
  • The only accounts to appear in the top 10 of more than one platform are Cristiano Ronaldo (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), Ariana Grande (Instagram, Twitter) and Will Smith (Facebook, TikTok).

The big picture: About half (123) of the top 50 accounts across all five platforms measured originate from the United States.

  • The next-largest country of origin for top accounts is India with 29, followed by the U.K. with 12, South Korea with 9 and Canada and Spain with 8 each.

Editor's note: This story was originally published with a different graphic on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

Go deeper

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas tech giants

A mob of Trump supporters breaches the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Jan. 6 select committee on Thursday subpoenaed Alphabet, Meta, Reddit and Twitter for records as part of its investigation of the Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: The four social media companies have key information related to the spread of misinformation, efforts to overturn the 2020 election and domestic violent extremism, the panel said.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations are "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more power outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 2 hours ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.