TikTok’s “de-influencer” trend shows you what you don’t need to buy

When looking for buying advice, popular social media influencers and celebrities are always hawking the hottest items of the moment. But some people may reconsider their spending habits after watching TikTok’s “Go Influencer” campaign, which shared which viral products aren’t actually worth buying.

With more than 50 million views, the app’s “Go Influencer” tab is the centerpiece of thousands of TikTokers’ videos that debunk the influencer appeal of cult Internet products, especially in the beauty space. From the highly coveted Dior makeup products to Olaplex shampoo and conditioner, these videos focus on popular products that “de-influencers believe” are overhyped. This follows a similar “anti-shipment” niche for YouTube, which points to product creators who refuse to buy.

This growing trend is a direct response to the endless stream of products that beauty and lifestyle influencers insist you must have. According to the Internet, right now, you should own a Stanley Cup drinking glass, a facial ice roller, Kim Kardahian’s SKIMS line of shapewear, and some canned fish in your kitchen cupboard. These may change in the next month or week, depending on trends.

Typically, influencer testimonial videos are sponsored by the companies behind the products. Influencers can also get paid from affiliate links or codes if viewers buy through the links they share. This arrangement has been so successful that the influencer marketing industry generated more than $16 billion in revenue last year, according to the Influencer Marketing Hub.

Celebrities have captured their fans’ willingness to buy their products, which drives the multi-billion dollar beauty business, with users willing to pay for brands like JLO Beauty to get that Jennifer Lopez glow, or SKIMS to get that hourglass Kardashian body. New product releases for these lines are fast and frequent. In the past two months alone, the Kardashians alone have launched at least 15 products under their personal brand, ranging from candles to pajamas to skincare products. This does not include the other non-Kardashian products advertised on their pages.

While it is clear that followers are willing to spend money on these recommendations, there is a growing discussion about the integrity of the reviews provided by influencers and whether they actually use many of the products themselves. Recently rising TikTok star Mikayla Nogueira ( Mikayla Nogueira ) drew strong objections from online viewers who accused her of wearing fake eyelashes in a sponsored video mascara review.

“We just need so much bronzer and lipstick,” said Elle Grey, a 25-year-old content creator who is participating on her “Basic Of Course” TikTok page. She is participating in the “de-influencer” trend on her “Basic Of Course” TikTok page, which has 10,000 followers. “A lot of these products especially within the beauty and fashion industry are following these very fast micro trends where you may already have the perfect alternative to that product.” Gray believes this is especially true for trendy products like Charlotte Tilbury makeup, Target pillows, and most items on the Netflix Amazon storefront, where they receive a commission every time someone makes a purchase.

Grey says other influencers often prioritize monetization over authenticity and selectivity in their reviews. In the past, Grey has been offered free products from brands in exchange for online reviews, but she says she only agrees to share products from brands she already uses and likes – or has tried and really likes. Even then, that’s not a priority for her content. “I love my audience, but I don’t know them personally, so I may not know what’s best for their lifestyle,” she says. “I think you should go to your intimate network and ask for their advice first like a friend, rather than finding a random girl on the Internet.” Gray suggests going to influencers for other reasons. “I like to observe influencers to learn about their life interests and hobbies, rather than seeing them as a source of shopping inspiration.”

The massive amount of content many people consume on TikTok has fueled the trend of influencers launching more and more new products. The average user spends more than an hour and a half a day on TikTok. Unlike other platforms like YouTube, which favor longer videos, TikTok’s 60-second style ForYouPage offers users more exposure to sponsored content.

But as much as Generation Z loves TikTok, many members of this generation also care about sustainability and want to reduce their consumption and spending patterns. a study conducted by First Insight found that the majority of this generation prefers to buy from sustainable brands and are likely to make purchases based on personal, social and environmental principles.

Many people on the Internet are embracing this trend, claiming it has helped with overconsumption.

Others point to the irony of this trend of still using “influencing” methods to “de-influence,” especially when alternative products are suggested as substitutes. For some people, “de-influencing” videos are not enough to change their buying habits.

Gray, an online creator, said she received responses from viewers questioning whether her “de-influencing” posts would affect her chances of becoming an influencer in the future. “I would say quite the opposite,” she says. “I think it makes the value of a genuine recommendation from the heart much more powerful than if I just stepped out of a salad spinner or the latest lipstick.”

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