Selena Gomez turned 26 over the weekend, and the photos from her birthday bash were dazzling.
The pics were so good, in fact, that the Instagram “likes” poured in with dizzying alacrity.
Selena’s birthday post got so much love so quickly that it absolutely destroyed the previous record … which had belonged to Beyonce herself.
While Hailey Baldwin enjoys Justin Bieber, for better or for worse, Selena Gomez is living her best life. It’s what she deserves.
Remember how Beyonce broke the internet with her twin reveal photo?
That pic received a staggering 7.8 million in only 12 hours.
The pregnancy reveal pic that preceded it received 6.4 million within the first few hours. Beyonce is a powerhouse, there’s no question.
But when the battleground is Instagram, Selena has no equal.
It took Selena’s birthday party post only 13 minutes to reach 1 million likes.
(The number of likes is currently near 9 million and will likely grow by the time that you even finish reading this sentence)
That’s no real surprise.
Selena Gomez has been the reigning champion when it comes to Instagram followers for some time. She is a social media titan and the one to beat.
Even those who come close — like Ariana Grande, Christiano Ronaldo, and Beyonce — can’t quite surpass her follower count.
Not yet, anyway.
Selena is also paid more for Instagram ads.
We all know that Instagram follower counts matter for more than just bragging rights and branding.
Celebrities, no matter how wealthy, can make a small fortune with a few normal photos of themselves, promoting one product or another.
Selena Gomez apparently makes a whopping $ 800,000 per Instagram endorsement. That means that she takes a photo wearing or holding a brand and makes more than three quarters of a million dollars.
Beyonce makes $ 700,000 per photo. Of course, price is based upon more than just follower counts. It also has a lot to do with things like social media engagement.
When it comes to Instagram ad prices, nobody beats out Kylie Jenner — who maks rakes in $ 1 million per pic.
It’s easy to frame this conversation as a competition.
A competition between Selena and Kylie over who makes the most per Instagram ad.
A competition between Beyonce and Selena over who has the most followers, or who got the most likes the fastest.
Instead, let’s keep this in perspective. This was a broken record. One day, perhaps very soon, someone else will get a million likes even faster than Selena.
Social media is fueled by the people on it, and there are more people every single day who sign up for Instagram and click that like button.
So, again, it’s not a competition. Though, if the race to a million likes were a competition … Selena is the current reigning champion.
Selena’s 26 birthday is a big deal.
Not because 26 is a huge milestone. It isn’t. Every birthday after 21 is a grim reminder that we all grow less socially relevant with each passing day as our bodies begin to fail and crumble beneath the weight of time.
No, this birthday is a huge deal because … there were genuine doubts that she would make it this far.
She has been battling Lupus for years. Just a little over a year ago, Selena was rushed to the hospital with kidney failure.
Had it not been for a life-saving kidney transplant, it’s unclear if Selena would still be among the living.
And even now, she continues to struggle with Lupus. Selena’s birthday is worth celebrating for that alone.