On social media, especially TikTok, the trend is to push as many products into consumers’ faces as possible. But most recently, a new trend seems to be growing to curb consumerism brought on by influencer culture. Deinfluencing has racked up more than 70 million views on Tiktok.
Under the hashtag, video creators share the truth about consumer culture. Content creators usually promote a product and provide a purchasing link where they can earn a commission off every purchase. With direct links to stores that can deliver overnight, consumerism has never been easier. Furthermore, social media apps allow users to load their payment information for maximum convenience.
Experts state that brands prefer working with influencers rather than sponsored content because people prefer faces they can trust endorsing products. The influencer market is valued at $16 billion as of 2022. Studies found that Gen Zs are the most likely to purchase an item promoted by an influencer. But now, some Gen Z influencers are turning this habit on its head.
How Gen Zs have taken over TikTok deinfluencing
Tiktokkers like Alyssa Stephanie outline “cult” products consistently advertised by beauty influencers. Users like her are creating a what-not-to-buy catalogue and instead give more affordable alternatives. Another TikTok creator, a spending coach, debunks extravagant behaviour that Tiktok has tried to normalize, such as wearing a different outfit every day. She also speaks about the trend of going to shopping centres such as Target, where these content creators buy too many products worth hundreds of dollars.
Deinfluencing on Tiktok calls out unrealistic self-care routines that require too many products to achieve personal joy. These steps always include wildly expensive products. Deinfluencers warn their followers that their lives don’t need to look the same as the lifestyles of the rich and the sponsored. The influencer presents the false façade where money never runs out and owning multiple versions of the same thing is good.
However, for many influencers, their shopping trips could be sponsored, and they also receive lots of free products from companies. Deinfluencers warn that you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to own multiple brands of lipsticks just because your favourite beauty influencer owns the same.
Professionals are also jumping on the TikTok deinfluencing trend. Dermatologist and content creator Dr. Prem Tipathi debunks the need for the 20-step skincare routine. He also mentions that it’s more likely to irritate your skin and is ineffective in improving skin health. Furthermore, deinfluencers are challenging users to be conscious about their purchases. Beauty Pro Courtney informs her viewers that they don’t need contour if they have already sculpted their faces with highlighter and bronzer.
Where TikTok deinfluencing is headed
While admirable, the trend is already getting backlash. Some influencers using the hashtag still have affiliate links posted on their bios. Brands will eventually find a way to turn the trend into more marketing, perhaps by paying deinfluencers to promote their product as a sustainable alternative.
The trend may not have an immediate impact, but it does show a growing consciousness against overconsumption. It’s difficult to predict if deinfluencing will eventually change how consumers interact with influencers. But with growing inflation rates and more sustainability consciousness, these deinfluencers may be the best influencers to lead the way.
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