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What is Deinfluencing?

Curious about the deinfluincing trend? Learn all about what it is in this post.
Curtis Christopherson
December 14, 2023

Influencers are everywhere these days. 

Scroll through Instagram or TikTok and you'll find countless photogenic young people promoting the latest fashion trends, beauty products, travel destinations, and more. Brands partner with influencers to market their products and services, paying them to create sponsored posts and videos showcasing why their followers need to buy what they're selling.

It's an incredibly lucrative business. As of 2023, the influencer marketing industry is worth approximately $21 billion—which is more than double since 2019. With money like that on the table, it's no wonder so many people aspire to become full-time influencers.

But not everyone is on board with influencer culture. A new trend called "deinfluencing" has emerged as a backlash against the rampant consumerism, materialism, and unrealistic beauty standards many associate with influencer marketing.

This blog explores the deinfluencing trend, its impacts on influencer marketing, and what it means for you. Let’s get into it. 

What is Deinfluencing?

Deinfluencing is when social media users create content aimed at discouraging their followers from buying hyped-up, expensive products promoted by influencers.

For example, an Instagram deinfluencer might make a post explaining why her followers don't need to buy the latest $200 designer yoga pants promoted by a popular influencer. Or a TikTok deinfluencer could make a video breaking down why the $500 personalized skincare routine pushed by a famous esthetician isn't necessary for clear skin.

Deinfluencers warn their audiences against buying:

  • Overpriced products - Items with markups not justified by value or quality
  • Fast fashion - Cheaply made clothing that leads to environmental waste
  • Unnecessary "must-haves" - Products marketed as essential for an aspirational lifestyle
  • Unsustainable habits - Behaviors like overshopping that harm the environment

The goal is to encourage careful consumption, combat social media-fueled FOMO, and remind audiences to avoid creating excess waste.

How Did The Deinfluencing Movement Start?

Influencer marketing experienced meteoric growth in the 2010s. Instagram and YouTube content creators gained millions of devoted followers who looked to them for guidance on the latest fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and consumer tech products.

Brands took notice, partnering with creators to integrate sponsored yet authentic-feeling endorsements. Influencer marketing budgets ballooned, becoming a $15 billion industry by 2022.

But a backlash was brewing. More social media users began to criticize the consumerist values and unrealistic beauty standards promoted by top influencers.

The environmental toll of all this promoted overconsumption became a major topic of conversation. Users pointed out that landfills were becoming increasingly bloated with fast-fashion garments, cheap makeup palettes, and accessories hyped as must-have items—only to be quickly discarded for the next trend.

Some called out the financial consequences for younger audiences racking up debt to mimic influencer lifestyles. Many complained about blurred lines between paid sponsorships and recommendations, with inadequate hashtag disclosures.

Pushback started small—a few contrary voices suggesting followers didn't need every influencer-hyped trend and product. 

It was in 2019 that YouTube creator Kimberly Clark launched #antihaultag to discourage excessive beauty influencer haul videos. TikTok took deinfluencing mainstream with viral videos using hashtags like #deinfluencing and #anticonsumerism.

Now deinfluencing has evolved into its own sub-movement, with some influencers pivoting entirely to anti-consumerist messaging.

What’s the Difference Between Influencing and Deinfluencing?

At a high level, here are some of the key differences between influencing and deinfluencing:


  • Promotes buying specific products
  • Uses aspirational, FOMO-inducing messaging
  • Shows off a desirable or aspirational lifestyle
  • Creates a sense of need and urgency around products
  • Makes frequent recommendations and endorsements


  • Discourages buying certain types of products (e.g. consumer tech, clothing, etc.) 
  • Uses logic, facts, and transparency
  • Focuses on sustainability and ethics
  • Argues against false needs
  • Critiques and reveals limitations of influencer promotion

However, the line between the two is often blurry. Some deinfluencers simply promote alternative products while discrediting competitors. Others straddle the line, both influencing purchases while also urging ethical consumption.

At its core, deinfluencing aims to make consumers pause and reconsider so-called hype, weigh wants versus needs, and evaluate the impact of their purchases.

The Impact on Influencer Marketing

The rise of deinfluencing highlights some emerging challenges for brands leveraging influencer marketing:

More Skepticism

Audiences are warier of overt sponsored content and influencer endorsements. Brands need to double down on transparency about paid partnerships.

Demand for Ethics

Consumers want to see brands align with influencers who reflect their values around sustainability, diversity, inclusion, and more.

Value Over Luxury

Flashy excess and aspirational lifestyle content now compete with relatable, useful recommendations focused on quality and longevity.

Facts Over Hype

There's an opening for more authentic, evidence-based influencer content on par with deinfluencing rebuttals.

To succeed today, influencer marketing needs to pivot—collaborating with creators who build trust not just through lifestyle envy but also through honesty, integrity, and true connection with their audience.

The Takeaway? It’s About Trust

Deinfluencing may seem like a rebuke of influencer marketing, but it's better viewed as a course correction. This new trend highlights the need for brands and influencers alike to focus less on materialism and more on adding genuine value.

At WRKOUT, we're selective about only recommending health, fitness and wellness products from trusted brands to help improve peoples' lives. Our goal is to help you earn cash rewards when you recommend products actually worth buying to your clients and network. We believe in empowering mindful consumption, not pushy consumerism.

If deinfluencing teaches us anything, it’s that nobody likes to feel duped or manipulated by social media hype. Recommending products to your clients, friends and family that you actually use and love yourself is crucial—trust goes a long way. 

So, if you’re ready to earn cash rewards for sharing quality products you actually believe in with your audience, download the app today!

Earn cash rewards doing what you love.

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