What started out as “don’t buy this product” turned into “don’t buy this product, buy this product instead” – this phenomenon is better known as the current disinfluence trend on TikTok.
For example, gaming influencers are now giving reviews of chairs, microphones and headphones that they don’t recommend, there are posts from Sephora employees who are makeup product reviews that don’t live up to their hype and dermatologists tell users which products to avoid when it comes to skin care.
Disinfluence is exactly what it sounds like: the opposite of a social media star promoting a product.
In recent months, social media users and influencers have become much more open about which viral products they weren’t going to recommend in order to, according to them, avoid overconsumption. Even so, many of them are now recommending other products that are either cheaper or competitors to the viral product. It comes at a time when consumers are also increasingly questioning influencer content, according to marketers who say consumers are moving away from the culture of mass consumption and facades of perfection towards a mode more conscious lifestyle that values community, authenticity and businesses with values.
“The trend of disinfluence is causing people to question the value and necessity of these products, which is in stark contrast to how they were once promoted and these products are not authentic to the normal consumer lifestyle. “said Wendy Mei, head of business strategy at the map-based application Playsee, who added that audience desires are changing. The creator economy is also changing and how brands and businesses can influence online due to the trend of disinfluence.
THE oversaturation of sponsored influencer content has led marketers to wonder if influencer marketing has reached its peak, even though the associated revenue exceeded $16 billion in 2022, according to the Influencer Marketing Hub. Today’s social media users are much more savvy about influencer marketing due to an overabundance of product promotions and brand partnerships from creators. As a result, they are less likely to be swayed by influencers they deem inauthentic. Hubspot conducted a study which found that 33% of Gen Z made a purchase based on an influencer recommendation over the past three months to establish their trust in this brand.
And as the popularity of disinfluence on TikTok has steadily increased over the past three months, the number of videos tagged #deinfluencing on the platform has reached more than 300 million in total at the time of this writing. According to Mei, Gen Z is changing its shopping habits from Excessive consumption to other more intentional and lasting ones. For this reason, marketers are pushing to ensure influencer communications align with their values.
Gen Z consumers are increasingly frustrated with the shear volume and frenzy around products from influencers they ultimately don’t need, said Molly Barth, senior cultural strategist at Sparks & Honey.
“These whole videos in general become much less popular because people see them as a crude representation of wealth and the accumulation of possessions, which is not necessarily ethical, responsible or sustainable,” Barth said.
TikTok star and content creator Taya Miller, who has 4.8 million followers on TikTok, said she hasn’t joined the trend, but hopes others will keep pushing the trend (as long as ‘she’s not sponsored) because transparency is a must when it comes to being honest with a creator’s audience.
“If they’re just transparent with their audience, that’s why people follow them. If they’re going to promote products, be honest about it, that’s your job,” Miller said.
As Miller and Barth pointed out, Gen Z has become increasingly aware that content creators, in the beauty industry in particular, can tout products that may not work as well as presented. . An example of this is The Mikayla Nogueira mascara scandal .
“People are less attracted to these big, famous influencers because they see how much they get paid by these big brands to say whatever these brands tell them,” Barth said, adding that truly talented creators understand that cultivating real connection with their audience is their value proposition.
“Viewers are now more attentive to the type of content they are consuming and less accepting of influencer content with obvious monetary content,” Mei said. “Using multiple micro-influencers will help brands reach niche audiences that widely-followed influencers might not.”