The rise of social media ‘deinfluencers’

A new era of social media criticism is gaining momentum. While people have long questioned the opinions and behaviors of others, it wasn’t until social media became a global communication tool where anyone could sign up and share an opinion.

Now, a new wave of call-and-cancel culture has emerged in the form of decluttering. Instead of demanding accountability, deinfluencers actively post to dissuade shoppers from purchasing certain fashion and beauty items. TikTok and Instagram were the two main outlets for deinfluncers. Instead of giving a product a one-star review, detractors use social media, mostly through video format, to dissuade shoppers from making a particular purchase.

With authenticity and credibility the holy grail of influencers, it may be that disinfluence is another method of inducing honesty when it comes to making product recommendations. Peer reviews are considered highly authentic, where online comments and recommendations from other “everyday” consumers rather than influencers can greatly influence product sales.

Damien Mahoney, chief strategist at Nosto, told FashionUnited: “It’s possible that the growth of deinfluencers will force brands to double down on authenticity. Instead of worrying about product churn, they will look to work more closely with their own customer communities – getting real customers to share authentic content about their products. It’s a powerful way to build consumer trust, guide purchasing decisions and prevent disappointment.”

Authentic product content

“The decoupling is actually not new. The most powerful influencers have always given unbiased opinions that could very well steer people away from buying certain products. What has changed is that people are now more aware that many paid influencers are guilty of pushing mass consumption of products that, in some cases, they don’t really believe are good. These types of paid sponsorships reduce the authentic product reviews that buyers need to make purchasing decisions. The cost of living crisis has only exacerbated how people feel about it. they’re now even more passionate about wanting to see brands and products that are overhyped or simply not worth the money they’re being told.”

“De-influence actually just reinforces the idea that consumers want to make purchase decisions based on genuine reviews and recommendations. Instead of relying on paid, macro/mega influencers, brands will turn to working closely with their own, true ambassadors to drive it.

In a Nosto poll of more than 2,000 online shoppers in the UK, US and Australia, 79 percent said online content from other real shoppers heavily influences their purchasing decisions, compared to only 9 percent say influencer content has an impact. 65 percent said they bought clothing or fashion items because of user-generated images or videos from real customers, while 53 percent had purchased a beauty, health or wellness product based on user-generated images or videos on media of social network.

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