TikTok ‘Deinfluencers’ Are On a Mission to Help You Save Money

A woman treats a TikTok video by dancing in front of a camera.
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In recent years, social media influencers have become a prominent force in the world of marketing and branding. TikTok influencers in particular often get a bad reputation, with many people claiming they’re just in it for the money, free stuff and other perks from sponsors. Not to mention, many influencers are just trying to convince consumers to buy things that they really don’t need because they’re getting paid big bucks from sponsors.

Influencers tend to use their platforms to promote products and services, often with a large following of dedicated fans — sometimes a million or more.

However, as the influencer industry continues to grow, so do the concerns surrounding the authenticity and ethics of these online personalities. This has become particularly true with the squeeze of inflation that we’re all feeling these days.

There are so many TikTok trends out there, but this one will rock your socks: Enter the deinfluencer — a new breed of TikTok creator dedicated to calling out and debunking dishonest or unworthy product content from influencers.

What does this emerging TikTok trend mean and how can “deinfluencers” actually help you keep more cash in your wallet? Let’s jump right in and break it all down.

Looking to save even more? Here’s our list of 101 ways you’re probably wasting money — and how to stop.

What Are Deinfluencers?

Deinfluencers are individuals who use their social media platforms to critique and criticize the practices of influencers. They create videos that expose false advertising and both expose and debunk the promises that other influencers in your feed might be feeding you.

This can be about products or services that influencers are marketing to their followers. And most importantly, deinfluencers give advice on which promoted products are not worth the hype and even outright tell consumers what not to buy. You can almost think of deinfluencers as watchdogs, calling out the influencers who engage in unethical practices.

One of the key goals of deinfluencers is to promote transparency and honesty in the influencer industry. They aim to provide consumers with accurate information about products and services and help them make informed decisions.

Let’s be honest, we all need more of this type of content in the era of fake and alternative news. What’s more? Deinfluencers seek to hold influencers accountable for their actions and encourage them to use their platforms responsibly.

This trend has gotten so big that in just about one month since this trend exploded, #deinfluencing on TikTok has reached 396 million views at the time of writing this article.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular deinfluencers on TikTok and what advice they have to offer consumers.

Who Are The Most Popular TikTok Deinfluencers?

While #deinfluencing is still a growing trend, it seems to be starting with micro- and mid- influencers, those that don’t yet have the most attention from big brands, with follower counts of about 10,000-500,000 each.

Dazed and #deinfluencing on TikTok outline some of the most popular deinfluencers:

  1. @sadgrlswag: In one of @sadgrlswag’s (a.k.a. Estef) recent TikTok videos that now has over 58,500 likes, she goes on to tell her viewers that she’s here to deinfluence them and convince them not to buy the Dyson Airwrap styler or the new Apple AirPod Max headphones. Why? Because they’re simply not worth it for the price or the hype.
  2. @alyssastephanie: Alyssa has a lot of opinions about health, fashion and beauty products as someone who spends thousands of dollars on these items every year. She tells her followers all about the TikTok cult products she hates: hair products, skin serums, creams, etc. She even decided to substitute her usual Supergoop sunscreen (which can cost around $48) for a similar alternative at Trader Joe’s that costs just $8.
  3. @tamillionarie4eva: In one of @tamillionaire4eva’s recent TikTok videos, she tells her followers that her number one rule to save the most money and get the best version of products is simple: Wait until a second or third generation comes out. Why? Because later versions usually have fewer issues, more quality improvements, and even lower prices (since the initial hype is over). This can apply to vacuums and even trendy shoes — definitely not a bad piece of advice.
  4. @chloe.chapdelaine: In one of Chloe’s TikTok videos, she boldly addresses her followers saying “I’m going to tell you what you don’t need.” Speaking out about beauty products, she recommends buying hair bands at your local dollar store instead of expensive “puffy” headbands to do your makeup. She even recommends simply using baby oil, which you can also find at the dollar store, to take off waterproof makeup, instead of those expensive makeup removers — genius!
  5. @valeriefride: Valerie shamelessly posted a recent TikTok video where the headline was “stop deinfluencing, brands want to work with you” and she lip-synced “no thanks, I choose my own destiny.” It was a bold TikTok move on her part.

The importance of deinfluencers cannot be understated. With the influencer industry continuing to grow and evolve, it is more important than ever that individuals on social media are held accountable for their actions — and influence, for that matter. By calling out trends that are just not worth your time or money, deinfluencers help to promote transparency and authenticity in the industry.

Can Deinfluencers Help You Save Money?

Absolutely yes.

You can see from the examples above, and from many other deinfluencers out there, that this trend, at its core, is meant to help the everyday consumer. While influencers often tout products to their followers that they may or may not actually believe in just because a brand is paying them lots of cash, deinfluencers are on the side of the consumer.

Are Deinfluencers Legit?

In short, yes. Everyone’s trying to make money with a TikTok side hustle, and influencers tend to do it shamelessly. But, deinfluencers are striking out on their own paths toward TikTok success.

However, it’s important to stay vigilant about who you’re watching. While some TikTok deinfluencers will guide consumers away from spending money, others claiming the moniker may do the opposite.

For instance, keep an eye out for those who bash other influencers’ sponsored products, and direct you toward theirs, maybe a cheaper “dupe.”

There are also ways to tell if an influencer — or deinfluencer — is the real deal, or if they have fake followers. Look for:

  • An engaged, varied audience: Comments should be germane to the content and engagement should be varied.
  • A steady flow of followers: Legit influencers build an audience over time. A sudden spike in followers is a red flag.
  • Reasonable engagement ratios: When we say “ratio,” we mean the percentage of people who interacted with content after seeing it. It can be suspicious if an influencer has a low engagement rate, which could mean that the influencer has purchased followers. However, a low engagement rate doesn’t necessarily mean a TikTok profile isn’t legit.

In an uncertain economy with out-of-control inflation, rising rents, rising interest rates, and soaring grocery prices, consumers are watching what they spend and cutting back on extras much more often these days. This is why deinfluencers are slowly but surely becoming an important force in the world of social media. They help to promote transparency and honesty in an unregulated influencer industry and hold individuals accountable for their actions, especially when it comes to telling consumers what to buy.

Adam Palasciano is a personal finance-obsessed and money-savvy individual who loves to create content on all things saving and making money. His work also appears on The Smart Wallet, FinanceBuzz, Yahoo! Finance and JoyWallet.