Five years ago, the term 'social media influencer' didn't even exist. Now, if you ask kids in school what they want to be when they grow up, some of them might say that they want to be famous on the internet.

But fame is not the only thing that comes with the title. It takes a lot of time, effort and passion (in other words, blood, sweat and tears) to get to where these Insta-famous people are today.

You may not be able to physically see or fully understand what they do behind the scenes, hence why it is so easy to judge a book by its cover and roll your eyes when you hear that someone is an influencer.

Nevertheless, we should give respect where it is due because they must have done something right, or else you wouldn't have seen their faces or heard their names, right? Whether they are content creators, singers, actors or models, their creativity has gotten them 'verified'.

And speaking of which, one of the reasons why they’ve been so successful this year is because of how accessible their contents are. But we know the struggle; sometimes you really want to watch that MGAG video, but you don’t want to drain your mobile data. Well, you don’t have to worry about all that with U Mobile’s Unlimited Power Prepaid pack, which gives you unlimited high-speed internet to stalk all your favourite social media influencers (more on this in a second).

Anyway, back to the topic. As 2017 draws to a close, let's look back at some of the local influencers or KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) you probably saw creep up on your social media feed somewhere sometime this year.

Disclaimer: This list does not include celebrities or artists that have breached millions of followers, so if you don't see your favourites here, jangan terasa!
Disclaimer 2: Also, we would like to point out that these social media influencers are not, in any way, official U Mobile endorsers or spokespersons.

Josephine Yap (@jyjosephine)

"Hello, humans!" is Josephine’s favourite tagline in all her video introductions. She first broke out while playing a lead role in one of JinnyboyTV’s short films last year, The Girl That Changed Me. Since then, she has gone on to appear in several other popular YouTube videos and made a name for herself.

Josephine’s following naturally grew rapidly within a span of less than two years all thanks to her sweet face and bubbly personality. She currently has more than 240,000 followers on Instagram and we bet she’ll hit quarter of a million before we ring in the New Year!


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Day 2: Workout done, gimme my bread now. ?? #heretocreate #adidasMY

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Playground ?? #gvf2017

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When people couldn’t get enough of Josephine on camera, she created her own YouTube channel and started posting vlogs that have accumulated more than 1.7 million views to date in less than one year!

Follow Josephine: Instagram | YouTube | Facebook

Harvinth Skin (@harvinthskin)

Harvinth has arguably become one of the most popular machas in the past year. Just go to his YouTube channel and you’ll understand why. And do take his content with a pinch of salt, okay? It’s all just in the name of good fun and entertainment!

One of the videos he made that you may have seen appear on your news feed was when he compared Indian parents and white parents.

But Harvinth isn’t just another funny guy on YouTube. He raps pretty well too! We need to see more of your rapping, macha!

Follow Harvinth: Instagram | YouTube | Facebook

Jenn Chia (@soimjenn)

Jenn first started out singing in an indie band, writing songs and performing at random gigs around Klang Valley. If you scan through her YouTube channel, you’ll see that she started posting song covers eight years ago!

Not only is she a talented singer, Jenn also has a big personality that lights up every room she enters, one which landed her a role as one of the hosts on The 8TV Quickie several years back.

Some of her #GilaJenn moments have really put her on the map in the local industry as a content creator. She seems to show it so well that it never gets over the top.

One of our personal favourite online personas of hers is when she turns into a ‘Chinese girlfriend annoying her ang moh boyfriend’. What makes it better? Her real-life ang moh boyfriend Jon Liddel who does such a good job layan­ing her #GilaJenn ways!

Follow Jenn: Instagram | YouTube | Facebook

Talitha Tan (@talithabe)

Like Jenn, Talitha is also a singer-songwriter who first tried her luck on the internet posting song covers on YouTube.

Although her sweet voice did get a lot of attention, it was her fitness side that was a complete contrast to her musical talents which drew a different crowd. Just look at her biceps!

“What keeps you motivated?”, I often get asked. I guess by actually enjoying what you’re doing and the progress you get out of it. . . As much of a hate love relationship I have with running, I’m Still Here, Still Running. Only because of my family @webethirsty ♥️. . See you tomorrow @themusicrun ! #10k . . // ? @thebeardedcameragod . . #LiveTheBeat #TMRByAIAVitality #TeamNike #vapormax

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Within a short span of time, Talitha has become an inspiration as a sports enthusiast and parkour athlete. She also started participating in power-lifting competitions this year!

182lbs weighted plank right there! I guess Milo managed to push me to step up my game. ? I challenge you to plank for the gram! ?♥️ . COME! Join me (30 July, 2-3pm @ 1Utama, GF Centre Court) for some fun! Will be picking my teammates of 3! SO WHO WANTS TO BE IN MY TEAM? (Obviously the winning team) ? . . #MILONUTRIUP #STEPUP #UPYOURGAME . . Thank you @irz_riz for stacking the plates and @annahyphenrina for snapping the photo. ☺️?

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I FINALLY GOT MY CONTINUOS MUSCLE UPS ??? #SoHappyICannot WOOOO! . . Thank you @lameymon ! . #TalithaTanIsOkay #TaliPako

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When she is not doing chin-ups or running marathons, Talitha is working hard towards her dream as an established recording artist. She has officially released two singles so far, 'Okay' and 'Please Stay', and is fast-becoming one of the most popular young Malaysian artists in recent years.

By the way, did you spot her performing next to Manbai at the closing ceremony of the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 2017 this year? What an achievement!

Follow Talitha: Instagram | YouTube | Facebook

Luqman Podolski (@luqmanpodolski)

Luqman and his silly wig must be the most-followed influencer in our list this year. Not many um... not-so-open-minded people may be able to handle his comedy sketches, but his 1.3 million followers must think otherwise!

He follows trending topics very closely and puts his own comical spin to it that his own videos end up becoming viral as well!

benda benda ni selalu hilang. kan best kalau diaorang boleh bercakap @adibalexx

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Soalan susah #AyahDanAnak

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teksi @adibalexx

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'Sila Meninggal' has turned into a popular saying among those who are well-versed with our local social media lingo. It is a term made famous by Luqman himself after all, one that takes a stab at all the overly sensitive haters, to put it bluntly.

Follow Luqman: Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

Brynn Lovett (@brynn.lovett)

Brynn is a talented dancer who made a name for herself when she represented Malaysia on the world stage as Miss World Malaysia in 2015.

After completing her pageant cycle, Brynn began to build her social portfolio hosting events and endorsing products. Her active lifestyle also landed her exclusive invites to some of the most happening gigs and transformed her into one of the most sought-after influencers in town.

Some freestylin fun on the streets of Bangkok with my buddy @jin_ooi715 ! ??? featuring tops from @supercrewkl and headphones from @edifier_malaysia ❤️!! Check out more freestylin fun videos from the other Asian Battleground representatives all over Asia in the @astrobattleground page ! #Bangkok #Thailand #asianbtg2017 #getwildwithasia #edifiermalaysia #supercrewkl #freestylinfun #dancer #performer #work #shoot #play #firsttimeinbangkok #yayy

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Have a great Sunday guys ! Photo by @nicchung1 ? #photoshoot #flexmy #ootd #fashion #darklips #fav #workoutwear

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Missing the sun and sea ☀️ wearing @owlbydowlani ! Love her collection. Check it out ! #owlbydowlani #amalficoast #Italy #travel #lovettlivinglife #colourful #beach #sun #sea #tan #bringmeback #alwaysaholiday #throwback #beachwear

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He needed a ladder ! ?❤️ this is a super throwback photo ! only ever trusted him to make the crown look good on my head ?? besides having @dewi_seriestha crown me :3 ❤️, thanks for doing so for the entire one year that I was queen for shoots and gala dinners @karhoe_kimarie ?!! Thanks for this photo ❤️ love it ! what a wonderful memory ! #missmalaysiaworld2015 #exqueen #superthrowback #crownandsash #crownsup #beautypageant #kimarie #ladder #photoshoot #missworldmalaysia

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And in case you didn't know, Brynn has an identical twin! #lovettlivinglife

REUNITED ! ❤️ on a twin trip ! So so happy to see you again ? KUL- DXB - ROME ✈️ #lovettlivinglife #reunited #finally #twins #family

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Follow Brynn: Instagram | Facebook

Mina Rosli (@minaros3)

We first featured Mina Rosli in our list of Malaysian beauty bloggers to follow last year. She has since traded in her ultra colourful hair for a more subtle look. But one thing that hasn't changed is her creative makeup tutorials.

Mina started off uploading makeup tutorials on YouTube, just like every other beauty YouTuber, two years ago. Her video tutorials are so easy to follow that she easily gained a solid following in less than one year.

This is my first time using anything from @colourpopcosmetics & I LOVED EVERYTHING!! I'm so impressed with the no filter concealer, brow boss & SHE palette. Everything went on smoothly and my eyeshadow blended into perfection ? the colour selection for the palette was bomb, I'm madly in love. My Malaysian beauties, y'all gotta check out Colourpop. It's pretty cheap and the quality is spectacular!

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Smokey bronze eye look inspired by the @duckcosmetics All Eye Ask smokey palette. I was so eager to try the Glazed Pretzel foil ?✨ it packed a punch and I loved the effect! Their GlossipGirl lip gloss in Sweet Lola gives me Fenty Gloss Bomb vibes too ? 1. @duckcosmetics Facial Cleanser 2. @diormakeup Nude Air Flash Foundation 3. @duckcosmetics All Eye Ask in Smokey 4. @duckcosmetics Matte Decisions Lip Cream in Genuinely Judy & Glossip Girl in Sweet Lola

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Here's a mini skin focused video! It's been a week or so since I did the Elsa Bright Laser treatment at @meclinictimessquare and DAMN can I just point out how freaking licin and clear my skin has gotten? Makeup just glides on my skin now and it isn't looking as dull as before so yay!!! I only have to use toner (after cleansing ofqoz) and a hydrating moisturizer before applying makeup. Oh by the way, I am obsessed with mixing my foundation with oils. Have you guys tried this? I think it works better for drier skins than oily though. I'm not sure if it prolongs the longevity of my makeup but I haven't noticed any cons about this method. Okok enough talking, lemme list down the products I used. — 1. @freshbeauty Rose Facial Toner (smells like freaking roses) 2. @cliniquemalaysia Moisture Surge gel cream moisturizer 3. @armanibeauty Luminous Silk foundation (bought this at KLIA, they only have it there in Malaysia) 4. @lamer Renewal Oil 5. @hm Powder Bronzer in Deep Bronzer (gonna be available in Malaysia soon!) 6. @urbandecaycosmetics Naked Skin Shapeshifter Palette in Light/Medium 7. @hm Powder Blush in Golden Peach 8. @katvondbeauty Alchemist Holographic Palette 9. @sugarbellecosmetic Velvet Revolution Lipstick in Stripped — Nails by @poshbelle ❤ — #beautyblogger #malaysianbeautyblogger #malaysianmakeup #malaysiancosmetics #beauty #makeup #minimakeuptutorial

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This year, she began focusing more on posting mini tutorials on Instagram that you can just gobble up in a minute. Besides sharing beauty content, she is also filling up her Instagram grid with photos of her droolworthy healthy meals and adorable pet cats.

I love cats more than I'll ever love a human being. IM SORRY BUT ITS JUST THEY WAY I WAS PROGRAMMED OK

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Follow Mina: Instagram | YouTube

Adam Shamil (@adamshamil)

Adam is a proud Sabahan who became famous on YouTube for his funny yet educational videos about the ever-so-misunderstood Borneo.

One of his earlier videos that had gone viral was when he wanted people to 'Get It Right' about the difference between the Indonesian language and Sabahan Malay, which are often thought to be the same. The video hit 200,000 videos in a single week, and that was how Adam's YouTube career started.

Another popular segment of his that never fails to win the hearts of fans is when he features his best friend a.k.a. his grandmother, 'Son Bullies'. She is so sporting and entertaining in his videos that we've got to admit, sometimes we're more excited to see her than Adam himself! (Just kidding, Adam. Jangan merajuk!)

Follow Adam: Instagram | YouTube | Facebook

Shikin Gomez (@shikingomez)

Hello, first runner-up of 'Asia's Next Top Model Cycle 5'! In the past year, Shikin has become one of the most successful models to ever come out of Malaysia.

I want to take this moment to thank everyone from Fox Network, Sponsors, crew members from Refinery Media, directors, story producers, executive producers, Judges, contestants handlers, makeup and hair team, the Top 14 girls and everyone else who is involved in @asntm . Every single one of you had made this experience a lifetime memories for me to look back on. I love and appreciate everyone involved. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! #asntm #asntm5 #expecttheunexpected #malaysiaontop #teamshikin #shikinnuggets

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Strutting her stuff on glamorous runways and posing for some of the biggest editorials in the region, just head over to her Instagram feed and you'll know why she managed to attract a solid following within one year.

I’m already thinking about lunch. ? #throwback #maskulinmag UPDATE! I had assam laksa. ?

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Oh, hey there Saturday ?

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Follow Shikin: Instagram | Facebook

Alicia Amin (@hangriii)

How can you talk about 'Asia's Next Top Model' without mentioning Alicia? She was also a fellow contestant representing Malaysia in the reality show alongside Shikin Gomez.

Headshot 2017 @biboaswan @sahirsabri

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Its a nananananana sandwich!

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Look back at it , link in bio ✨ @augustmanmy

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But other than her photogenic face and posture, Alicia also made headlines as a modern Malay female who is not afraid to voice out her opinions. On her Facebook page, calls herself an 'Advocate of Equal Opportunity', most likely after past photos of her posing in less conservative photos resurfaced on social media.

Most people have slapped the term “controversial” next to my name, because I’m uncensored & live unapologetically in this Malaysian society. I’m just being true to my own individual, personal experience on this crazy journey called life. I don’t need people to do or agree with what I do, but I would love if more people had the confidence and liberation to do what they wanted for themselves- get on that self discovery grind. Make the mistakes, get back up when you fail & don’t forget to be kind (to yourself & others) while you’re at it. We are all so fucking cool, you just need to find it & then #beyourowncool . . ❤️ @rentadress_kl

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Nevertheless, Alicia is a talented model and aspiring actor who has been featured in several local music videos.

Follow Alicia: Instagram | Facebook

Jazel Lim (@jazelxlim)

Jazel is a fun-sized beauty and fitness junkie who is of mixed heritage - Chinese, Filipino and Spanish. Her doll-like features and happy-go-lucky personality attract a lot of companies and brands to promote their products and services.

I might be going somewhere cold again early next year & can you guess where? Hint: The land of ??☀️ I need suggestions & recommendations from the experts ????( Where,What,When/Eat,Shop,Play,Drink) ???????????? I also need at least 2-3 new luggages cause I destroyed @dennisyin 's luggages ?? Comment or tag the Ig so i can check it out & lemme know which brand is good also reasonable, would really appreciate the help??? Have a Fun ☀️day lovelies ?

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I'll pretend that there's something interesting outside that made me smile like this & then act all melancholy just for this whole picture. How bout that ? I did well I suppose.. It's so cold here but imma take it all in before going back to my humidity,hot & makeup melting country. ?? Top: @bashclothing_ #charisceleb #beautifuljourney #sevenvault #winterfashion #ootd #lookbook #korea

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In support of breast cancer awareness @dirtybenefits came up with a box & it's filled with pinky goodness ? Let's support all these strong ladies ❤️ #dirtybenefits #breastcancerawareness

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On days when she is not a social butterfly, Jazel also dabbles in a little bit of acting. You have probably seen her cameo in a number of local YouTube sketches and short films.

Being surrounded with popular YouTubers like JinnyboyTV and Dennis Yin has also influenced her to hop on the vlogging bandwagon this year. One of her first videos was her experience meeting Bebe Rexha in the flesh!

Follow Jazel: Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

Sean Lee (@seanlje)

Sean is another local social media success stories who first started making videos on YouTube four years ago. But when his YouTube career didn't take off as he had intended in the beginning, something else took off instead.

Senyum, tak perlu ragu Senyum, usah dibimbang Tiada seindah senyumanmu ✨ ?: @jaslinpuasa . follow @livingljens for my merch update later this month! ? #LJENS #railcoffeekluang #coloursoflives #traveloguemalaysia #dekatje #tourismmalaysiajohor

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Sean fulfilled one of his dreams to become an actor and quickly gained a group of loyal fans, which he calls the 'LJENS', after acting in a local drama on TV, Keluarga Pontimau. He recently wrapped up filming for a Malaysian adaptation of popular Korean drama, My Coffee Prince.

Watch this video to see who this facial expression is for! ? Don’t forget 10pm tonight! Just in 2 hours, watch Episode 9 of #mycoffeeprince on Astro Ria 104! Ini episode favourite Sean tau! So korang kena tgk ? #LJENS @livingljens @michaelang38 @jannanick @fattahaminz @faez.azemi @a_syafiq_ahmad @zainhamid @jasminhamidjh @elliesuriaty_azryiskandar @dianadanielleb @fahrinahmad_fa @shieraijoy

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Here for Breitling’s 60th Anniversary all dressed up like @harrystyles, paired w @breitling’s Galactic Unitime timepiece ? Super intrigued by its self produced and designed mechanical chronograph ⚙️ #breitling #instrumentsforprofessionals #cortinawatch #LJENS #suwek (PS: their new store has finally opened here in KLCC)

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When he is not busy chasing shooting schedules and press interviews, Sean directs his focus on his first love - YouTube.

Follow Sean: Instagram | YouTube | Facebook

MGAG (@mgagmy)

We really don't think MGAG needs any introduction. You can pretty much guess by their name itself what they do for a living. Their primary mission is "to make every Malaysian's day a better one" with their daily dose of Malaysian humour.

Hhahah the guys before & after break up is so true!!!

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The only thing I can afford from @canonmalaysia. Please send help in the form of donations.

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So regardless of your age or where you come from, their memes and parodies have certainly creeped up on your Facebook timeline in one way or another.

Come on, don't tell us you haven't heard of the famous ABCDE, Asian Mom and Uncle Siu Mai? If that is really the case, you know what to do now.

Follow MGAG: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Harry Kok Siew Yok (@harrykoksiewyok)

This puppet claims to be more Malaysian than any of us because... he's THE Malaysian. He came into the picture just a few months ago but this hairy Malaysian has become a fast favourite among Malaysians because of his no-filter comments and statements.

DUN SAY IT NEVER HAPPEN TO YOU AH ? . #imthemalaysian #uthinkwat

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I LIKEEE! I LIKEE!! ?‍♂️ . #imthemalaysian #uthinkwat Feat. @trinsfins

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We had a fairly good laugh ourselves when he met him for a chat recently.

Follow Harry Kok: Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

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