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De-Influencing: The Top 2023 TikTok Trend

  • Post category:Content Hub
  • Reading time:5 mins read

Once you open up Tiktok, you’re likely to be greeted by an influencer boasting about their favourite new product, or showing off an expensive ‘gifted’ dress that they’re wearing to a big event!

From TikTok star Alix Earle’s “Get Ready With Me” videos to beauty brand-sponsored trips, such as Tarte’s #TrippingwithTarte to Dubai, we see into the lives of influencers and the lavish life they live.

It’s been noted that the number of consumers looking for products on social media has increased a staggering 43% since 2015. However, the new 2023 trend seems to be switching the dynamic with the rise of “de-influencing.” To date, the hashtag #deinfluencing has gained over 76 million views on TikTok and sparked a conversation about overconsumption. TikTok users are now sharing their negative experiences with the products influencers have convinced them to buy and encouraging others to think twice before they fall for the hype.

“I am here for de-influencing. This is my favourite trend of all time. I can’t believe we as a collective are finally admitting that overconsumption is getting out of control.”– TikTok User

So, what exactly is de-influencing?

De-influencing refers to content creators encouraging people NOT to buy or use a product. This trend is multi-faceted and includes people warning others against buying something just because it’s trending.

Influencers have a significant impact on consumer’s purchasing decisions and behaviour, particularly among Gen Z, where 44% make purchases based on influencer recommendations, compared to 26% of the general population. The de-influencer movement is empowering people, especially Gen Z, to question who to trust.

According to Kahlea Nicole Wade, a brand collaboration coach and content creator, the de-influencer trend is helping people regain their power by forcing influencers to justify their own credibility as well as a genuine ‘reason to believe’ (RTB) in the products their promoting. “It’s having people question who to actually trust,” Wade adds “So, I think a lot of creators in the short-term are really trying to boost their online credibility by saying, ‘Well sure the products that everyone thinks are so great but they’re actually not, you should get this instead.”

Social media users have mixed reactions to the “de-influencing” trend. Some users are sceptical, with one tweeting, “It’s not “de-influencing” if you’ve got affiliate links on… cough. TikTok. cough.”

Brands are also weighing in on the trend, with makeup brand Urban Decay posting, “sooo #deinfluencing … y’all still like me tho right?”

Why are people hoping on this trend now?

Recent controversies involving influencers, such as the accusation against TikToker Mikayla Nogueira for wearing fake eyelashes in a brand video, have called into question the credibility of influencers and their promotions. People are starting to see the unrealistic and unattainable nature of the influencer lifestyle and are craving more authenticity. The trend may also be linked to the current state of the economy, with people opting for cheaper and more functional products instead of aspirational, expensive ones. It is likely that the shift in thinking may also be a response to the popular #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt trend.

What kinds of things are people de-influencing?

In essence, everything and anything is up for criticism in the de-influencer trend. Some TikTok users are taking advantage of this movement to give their candid opinions on products they purchased based on an influencer’s recommendation. For example, @basicofcourse believes that you don’t need items that you weren’t familiar with just 30 seconds before. On the other hand, @valeriafride has tried numerous products and is open to returning items that don’t live up to their hype.

What does this mean for the future of influencers?

In one of our other recent blogs we identified that the power of the influencer isn’t going anywhere fast and although the notion of de-influencing is a slight curveball to the influencer market, it backs up our predictions perfectly! Users are smart, they don’t want to be fooled anymore!

Brands and influencers alike MUST seize the opportunity to build more authentic connections with their consumers by appointing long-term “brand ambassadors” that genuinely represent their products and service offering. The key to success comes in appointing those who have a history of influence in your sector. Not just who’s flavour of the month. Because if this trend teaches us anything it’s that incompatible sponsorship deals and products that are overpriced and under-deliver are seriously starting to be ‘outed!’

So, what do you think of de-influencing? Share your comments with us on social!