SEOUL • Instagram announced its list of the most beloved South Korean celebrities of 2018 on Thursday.
The yearly round-up, Instagram Awards In Korea, was launched last year to recognise highly influential celebrity Instagrammers.
The photo-sharing platform described the nascent awards as a way to celebrate K-pop's status as "one of the most buzzed-about music genres three years in a row from 2015 to 2017", adding that 2018 "was the year in which K-pop truly went mainstream worldwide".
Here are this year's award categories and the winners in each. All figures are current as of the time of writing.
MOST ENGAGED ACCOUNT
Jennie of girl group Blackpink had the "most engaged account of 2018".
Engagement is calculated based on the number of likes, comments and views of posts shared over the past 12 months.
NO. 1 BOY AND GIRL GROUPS
Instagram also chose the top boy and girl groups on its platform, based on the number of followers.
BTS were by far this year's most followed boy group. The septet also posted the most liked photo of this year. Taken in May at the Billboard Music Awards, it had earned more than 3.2 million likes as of yesterday.
The most followed girl group was Blackpink.
BTS and Blackpink will be performing in Singapore early next year.
TOP FANDOM COMMUNITY
The Army, as BTS fans are collectively known, were honoured as Instagram's top fandom community, with the hashtag #btsarmy having appeared more frequently than any rival's.
Actress Kim So-hyun was chosen as this year's emerging celebrity, as she had the fastest-growing number of followers on Instagram and used the platform to communicate actively with fans in diverse ways.
Kim has starred in a number of hit TV series, including Moon Embracing The Sun (2012), I Hear Your Voice (2013) and Goblin (2016) - the last of which propelled her to pan-Asian stardom.
TOP 10 ACCOUNTS
G-Dragon retained his rank as the celebrity with the most followers in South Korea for a fifth consecutive year.
The BigBang star had 16.1 million followers as of yesterday.
Next were two members of boy group EXO - Park Chan-yeol in second place with 16 million followers and Oh Se-hun in third with 14.8 million.
Actor Lee Jong-suk, who recently wrapped up a six-city fan meet-up tour in Asia, scored fourth place with 14.4 million followers, ahead of another EXO member, Baekhyun, whose follower count stands at 13.8 million.
Completing the top 10 are Taeyeon of Girls' Generation in sixth place, Jackson of GOT7 in seventh, Lisa and Jennie of Blackpink in eighth and ninth respectively, and actor Nam Ju-hyuk taking the No. 10 spot.
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK