A new era of social media critiquing is gaining momentum. While people have long challenged the viewpoints and behaviours of others, it was not until social media became a global communication tool where anyone could sign up and share an opinion.
Now, a new wave of call-out and cancel culture has emerged in the form of de-influencing. Instead of a demand for accountability, deinfluencers actively post to dissuade shoppers from buying certain fashion and beauty items. TikTok and Instagram have been the two major outlets for deinfluncers. Instead of giving a product a one star review, deinfluencers take to social media, mostly via video format, to dissuade shoppers from making a certain purchase.
With authenticity and trustworthiness the holy grail of influencers, it may be that deinfluencing is another method of evoking honesty when it comes to making product recommendations. Peer reviews are seen as highly authentic, where online feedback and recommendations from other 'everyday' consumers rather than big influencers can greatly influence product sales.
Damien Mahoney, chief strategy officer at Nosto, told FashionUnited: “It’s likely the growth of deinfluencers will force brands to double down on authenticity. Instead of worrying about products being deinfluenced, they’ll look to work more closely with their own customer communities—getting real customers to share authentic content about their products. It’s a strong way of cultivating consumer trust, guiding purchase decisions, and preventing disappointment.”
Authentic product content
“Deinfluencing’s actually not new. The most powerful influencers have always given unbiased opinions that could well guide people away from buying certain products. What’s 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 truly believe are good. These sorts of paid sponsorships dilute the authentic reviews of products that shoppers need to make purchase decisions. The cost-of-living crisis has only exacerbated how people feel about this; they are now even more passionate about wanting to see brands and products that are over-hyped or simply not worth the money being called out.”
“Deinfluencing is really only reinforcing 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 shift towards working closely with their own, true ambassadors to drive this.
In a poll by Nosto which surveyed over 2,000 online shoppers in the UK, US and Australia, 79 percent said online content from other real shoppers highly impacts their purchasing decisions, compared to only 9 percent stating influencer content is impactful. 65 percent stated they purchased apparel 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 social media.