De-Influencing: The Latest Influencer Trend

February 20th, 2023 by

Influencers, since their arrival to the social scene, have lived up to their name and influenced us to buy things. Apparently they don’t feel like doing that anymore, and are flipping the script by telling audiences what not to buy.

Dubbed by the influencers themselves, the #deinfluencing hashtag on TikTok has over 160 M views, and counting. Influencers listing their least favourite products isn’t anything new, but this level of deinfluencing has skyrocketed thanks to a questionable influencer partnership with Mikayla Nogueira and L’Oreal Paris.

Influencers have encouraged their audiences to buy product after product, particularly within the fashion and beauty spaces, leading to overconsumption and high product wastage. Due to the never-ending content wheel and demand for entertainment and newness, creators have felt the urge to provide their audiences with the latest and buzziest brands and products in their niches.

@alyssastephanie I love deinfluencing ❤️ #deinfluencing #deinfluencergang #cultproduct ♬ original sound – Alyssa ✨

However, with the audience’s need for authenticity, viewers are becoming more wary of influencers who coo and caw over every new product they try. In addition, consumers are tired of feeling pressured to buy every product they see go viral on TikTok.

The speed of the TikTok trend cycle has also made it near impossible for both influencers and consumers to keep up with what’s new. So, we finally reached the point where influencers can no longer list their favourite foundations, concealers, lip plumpers etc, etc…

The growth of deinfluencing can also be linked to the global economy and the cost of living crisis. People are spending less in general, and the deinfluencing trend can be used by influencers as a time to be genuinely honest with their opinions, and build a deeper level of trust with their audience. If they’re seen being brutally honest with their thoughts on products, their audience will understand any future partnerships or recommendations will be genuine and authentic.

@michelleskidelsky Replying to @3333333…00 you ask i deliver 🫡 might be some controversial takes here but it needed to be said #deinfluencing ♬ original sound – michelle

Micro trends have caused a wreckage in bank accounts over the years—think about how many cold girl, sad girl, it girl makeup trends we’ve had in the last six months alone. Heading into a recession and with the upcoming cohort of Gen Z spenders being conscious about spending, it’s a natural movement for influencer honesty.

Brands can also benefit from the deinfluencing trend. With influencers offering their honest opinions, and their audiences offering further insight in the comments, brands have direct access to constructive criticism and can see where packaging needs changing, or products need reformulating. Replying to @.sam_ross THIS MIGHT BE A HOT TAKE HAHA #fyp #deinfluencing #dior ♬ original sound – katie

The deinfluencing trend is also a chance for consumers to consider products more before buying them. Not all products suit all skin types, so just because an influencer is raving about a powder foundation, it doesn’t mean it will work for someone with dry skin, for example.

Considering this, it could begin an influencer marketing movement where brands really consider which influencers to work with, based on who their product would be suitable for—mature skin, dark spots, diverse shade range, or sensitive skin.

As TikTok continues to become a search engine for younger consumers, it’s important that the content and sponsorships available to view on the platform are honest and encourage thoughtful consumption, and not overconsumption.

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