The newest TikTok trend isn't trying to get consumers to buy products -- it's doing the opposite.
Marketing influencers are one of social media's hottest trends -- recommending products and services to their followers in authentic videos. But influencers are starting discourage consumers from overbuying products, combating false advertising and building trust with followers.
What is deinfluencing?
Deinfluencing is the newest Instagram, TikTok and YouTube trend where influencers tell their followers why they should not buy a product. This trend started with the beauty and lifestyle categories but has since moved to other areas and popular products. Influencers discuss products they think are overhyped, and they may provide alternatives to their followers.
The hashtag #deinfluencing had more than 233 million views on TikTok at the time of this writing. These TikTok videos warn users not to buy popular products, such as expensive cosmetics, Ugg Minis, Dyson Airwrap or AirPods Pro. Influencers urge others to think more critically about their purchases and evaluate their needs over wants. Deinfluencing tries to persuade consumers to limit excess waste.
The case for deinfluencing
Influencing is found all over social media. Some argue that it is overdone and may cause overconsumption and shopping addictions as consumers try to keep up with the latest trends.
Influencer culture promotes an unhealthy habit of overconsumption trying to keep up with all the latest trends. While big influencers encourage fast-fashion giants, such as Shein or Old Navy, the production of clothes contributes to nearly 8% to 10% of the world's carbon emissions, along with 20% of global water pollution, according to ResearchGate. Shipping also contributes 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Deinfluencers promote more sustainability by not buying as much at the consumer level.
Deinfluencing fights consistent want for material items, such as clothes, makeup or gadgets, that internet influencers and trends encourage. Deinfluencing is rejecting the material culture and the society that promotes wanting and having more of anything.
Deinfluencer vs. influencer
Deinfluencing is not a direct rejection of the influencer market, but reinforces honesty with followers. Creators try to help their followers by telling them honest opinions instead of encouraging them to buy something they may not need. Deinfluencers interrogate and draw skepticism to hype about products.
Influencers try to get followers to purchase a product and typically say the product is useful to everyone. Deinfluencers see that products may not be a perfect fit for all and try to show some alternatives -- sometimes even less expensive ones.
Both influencers and deinfluencers try to persuade followers, so they are similar. They reinforce a relationship with their fans or followers. Trends may seem fun, but the internet pushes changing trends consistently -- making it difficult and expensive for consumers to keep up.
Regardless, followers look to creators to find out about the latest trends. Some popular influencers with the most followers include Salt Bae, Huda Kattan, Charli D'Amelio, Khaby Lame and Lele Pons. Notable deinfluencing videos are from Heylulaa, Katiehub.org, Livvmarkley and Nadialhambra.
Rise of influencers and social media marketing
Marketing has changed with the rise of social media influence. Influencer marketing caught on as a way to reach different generations, as people tend to value the thoughts and opinions of their favorite influencers.
The influencer marketing industry is set to grow to $21.1 billion in 2023, according to "The State of Influencer Marketing 2023 Benchmark Report," as companies try to reach younger audiences by enlisting influencers. With the creator economy, influencers share their personal thoughts with followers and create trust with them. They then use this trust to market products.
Sixty-one percent of consumers trust influencers' recommendations, according to Influencer Marketing Hub. The key driver in influencer marketing is authenticity. Followers believe this person more than company advertisements.
Learn more about digital marketing best practices for businesses.
What does the deinfluencing trend mean for influencer marketing?
Not all influencers see the deinfluencing trend as a rejection to their industry. Some influencers see the rise in deinfluencing customers as a way to improve trust and educate consumers.
The power of influencer marketing is gaining the trust of followers. By deinfluencing certain products, some influencers see this as a way to build more trust with their audiences to possibly influence another purchase later.