The Rise of De-influencing: 2023’s most unlikely trend
Of all the social media trends we expected to have us all in a vice grip this year – de-influencing couldn’t have been any lower on our list. After increasing pressure from us normal folk to see influencers use their platforms more authentically when reviewing products, it seems like they’ve finally answered the call.
At least, that’s how it looks on the surface anyway. On one hand, this seeming shift towards a more honest, genuine approach to influencer marketing has been lauded in some corners.
However others – like me – are airing on the side of caution.
Because let’s face it, we’re still being told what to buy, where to buy it, and who to buy it from. It’s just being dressed up as some sort of pseudo reverse psychology instead.
Before we really get into the minutiae of how this craze has taken off, let’s go back to the start. Why has de-influencing even become a thing?
On the surface at least, it seems like the initial intentions were good.
With many believing that the reason #Deinfluencing soared in popularity in the first place was as a direct result of #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, which as we know encourages consumer impulse buying at the mercy of any given content creator.
That’s before we even get into the various controversies that uncovered a number of influencers allegedly misleading their audiences. The recent “mascara-gate” surrounding TikToker Mikayla Noguiera immediately springs to mind…
Then there’s the small case of a cost of living crisis. The universal tightening of purse strings hardly goes hand-in-hand with frivolous spending, does it?
So when you put it like that, the #Deinfluencing trend should only be seen as a force for good acting against hyper-consumerism and impulse buying.
All is not quite as it seems though.
Not buying it
The hashtag itself has already amassed a massive 76 million views on TikTok alone. With that, many have predicted that it will spell the end of influencer marketing once and for all. Personally, I wouldn’t go that far.
However at best, it might help put a stop to lazy influencer marketing – which is a start. We can all agree that greater transparency is needed. Because while there are ASA guidelines put in place to prevent misleading marketing, brands have since found ways to circumvent them – whether it’s intentional or not.
Trust and accountability is everything.
Trust in our influencers to give the most accurate and honest information on the products they’re commenting on. And accountability from brands to get the right people to discuss the right products, irrespective of whether it will create that viral bit of magic we all crave or not.
What the future holds for #Deinfluencing
Trends come and go, and the hype around de-influencing will likely plateau – especially if the economic climate improves somewhat in the near future. That’s not to say that brands can’t use this period as a time to reset and re-evaluate their marketing tactics though.
If, like me, you think de-influencing is just another ploy for TikToker’s and such to influence a different purchase later on down the line – that’s fine. Just don’t let your cynicism completely blind you. There’s more than a bit of good to be had in a landscape that’s more transparent with *slightly* less bullshit.
Whether it’s enough for us to see tangible change in our consumer habits is another matter altogether.