Remember the days of influencers shoving product after product in your face? Of rushing to the nearest store to snag a mascara that’s gone viral? It appears those days are gradually coming to an end. Instead of influencers encouraging you to buy while pushing their promo codes, ‘deinfluencers’ tells you which products you should not buy.
The rising trend of ‘deinfluencing’ is becoming seen as the antithesis to influencers, with the ‘#deinfluencing’ amassing 214 million views on Tiktok to date. And with the recent scandal involving Tiktok beauty influencer Mikayla Nogueira’s mascara slip-up, it’s no wonder why deinfluencers are seen as trailblazers in the fight for transparency. Although this seems to be hailed as a new way to prevent overconsumption in an influencer market worth $16 billion, is it really?
What is deinfluencing?
Rather than influencing you on what should fill your cart at checkout, deinfluencers are on a mission to empty it. By breaking the spell surrounding hyped-up products and proving that they’re not as good as they’re marketed to be, deinfluencers are essentially telling you what not to buy and suggesting affordable alternatives that are just as good, or even better.
Why is deinfluencing so popular?
“Do not get the UGG minis. Do not get the Dyson Air Wrap. Do not get the Charlotte Tilbury one. Do not get the Stanley Cup. Do not get the Colleen Hoover books. Do not get the Airpods Pro Max,” says one Tiktok deinfluencer, in a post which has garnered 301,000 likes for blowing the cover on some of the most viral products out there. From lambasting iconic brands like Olaplex and Dior, deinfluencers aren’t holding back with their honest review of their products.
With the rising cost of living jacking up prices to an astronomical level, it’s no wonder deinfluencing has gained so much traction. But that’s not the only reason. After all, it’s not 2009 anymore, a time when influencer marketing was still taking baby steps; audiences are changing with the times, and they’re becoming incredibly aware of when they’re being advertised to.
@thatcurlytoppJUST because something goes viral doesn’t mean you need them! Save money + let’s lower our consumption 😤💪🏽✨♬ original sound – Estef
@livvvmarkley I’ve tried so many products I could make like 30 of these videos #deinfluencing #skincareyoudontneed #QuakerPregrain #skincare #skintok ♬ original sound – sped up sounds
Although Federal Trade Commission (FTC) law states that influencers must fully and clearly disclose paid partnerships, cases like Mikayla Nogueira’s show that not all influencers follow advertising rules. Not only are we getting tired of being lied to about how good a product is, but the lack of transparency and fake hype shows why deinfluencing is such a hit with consumers. After all, paying an influencer to promote a product does remove a layer of authenticity for audiences.
Are influencers now a thing of the past?
Well, far from it. Although in hindsight deinfluencing might give you the impression that influencers are becoming a dying breed, deinfluencers are simply influencers repackaged and rebranded in a different way. Deinfluencers tout themselves as a new, trustworthy source in a beauty influencer landscape that was and has been rife with deception. Despite dissuading you from investing your hard-earned pounds in viral products, deinfluencers are still ‘influencing’ consumers into purchasing affordable dupes. And who’s to say that they’re not being paid to advertise the latter once brands pivot to these increasingly popular deinfluencers?
The end of overconsumption?
With the influencer market expected to grow to $21.1 billion this year according to Influencer Marketing Hub’s 2023 report, the answer seems to be pointing to a firm ‘no’. In a strange twist of irony, ‘deinfluencing’, at the end of the day, is still another form of influencer marketing. Telling buyers to stop spending money on a product but suggesting other alternatives is not going to stop our consumption habits anytime soon.