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More Than a Tik Tok Trend: How De-Influencing Represents a Larger Shift in Consumer Behavior

How social media user's desires for content to be more transparent and authentic has changed the role of influencers and even social media platforms themselves.
One of the latest trends on Tik Tok revolves around a fun new word: de-influencing. Social media platforms, especially Tik Tok, are known for their influencers and the products they're excited to share. Most influencers utilize some sort of affiliate marketing strategy, whether it's through Amazon or LTK. Viral "unboxing" videos of influencers receiving ample products and singing their praises helped facilitate brand partnerships and the rise of user-generated content.

But the newest trend centers around the opposite: de-influencing. It seems to be defined by users sharing products they regret buying and why. This video has over 1.6 million views as the creator, Katie, shares her experience with Dior makeup products and passionately tells viewers why they SHOULDN'T buy these products. "I feel like if you're going to make a product so expensive, it needs to be good quality," she says.

The comment sections in these posts boast many users applauding these creators for their honesty and authenticity, instead of just pretending to like a product in order to secure commission or a flat rate from the brand.

As the public discourse around inflation and a possible recession grow more urgent, some consumers have stepped back from excessive spending and impulse buying. Many users on social media claim that they want honesty from influencers, not just ads for products. The recent L'Oreal mascara-oriented influencer scandal has ignited many conversations about how to determine if an influencer is trusty-worthy or just trying to secure the money from a brand. Some question who we are to judge others trying to make a living.

One thing is clear: users are shifting in how they perceive influencer marketing and the products aligned with that influencer.

Do you think the trend of de-influencing will last? Let us know your thoughts below.