De-influencers and the rise of de-influencing on TikTok
Over the past few years, social media influencers have built a significant following on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. In many cases, influencers use their platform to promote products and services to their audience, in return for payment from brands. However, in recent months, a new trend has emerged on TikTok that challenges the influence of these digital celebrities: the rise of de-influencers.
What are de-influencers?
De-influencers are social media users who aim to push back against the influencer culture that has dominated platforms like TikTok. The rise of de-influencers has been fueled by a growing awareness of the negative impact of consumerism and the need for sustainable practices. De-influencers strive to create content that promotes authenticity, transparency, and sustainable practices. In their social media posts, many de-influencers discuss the negative effects of overconsumption on the planet, or on personal well-being. Some de-influencers make videos on the theme "buy this, not that", or simply speak out against brands that they dislike. In short, de-influencers do pretty much the opposite of what traditional influencers are paid to do.
De-influencing and TikTok
TikTok has emerged as the main social media hub for de-influencers, with many users leveraging the platform's short-form video format to share their messages. Videos using the hashtag #deinfluencer have been viewed over 400 million times, showing the popularity of the trend.
The rise of de-influencers and the de-influencing trend on TikTok is related to the megatrend of authenticity reshaping the world today. What consumers perceive as authentic influences what they eat, how they dress, and essentially everything that they buy. Social media users are increasingly seeking out content that goes beyond the surface-level promotion of products. They distrust advertising, as well as paid influencer marketing. They want to see individuals who are genuine, honest, and relatable, and who are not afraid to challenge the status quo.
The rise of authentic user-generated content (UGC)
As the de-influencer trend continues to grow on TikTok, we'll see more and more social media users engage with content they perceive as authentic and ethical. Users will seek out authentic user-generated content (UGC), produced by real customers of the brand – who promote it simply because they use it and love it. We can expect to see more social media users questioning the influence of traditional, paid influencers. While the role of influencers and their impact on consumer behavior is unlikely to disappear completely, the influencer phenomenon may already be past its prime.