Young social media users now trust smaller creators over mega-influencers

A majority of 13- to 39-year-olds prefer to take shopping advice from friends rather than influencers. — AFP Relaxnews

Is this the era of mega influencers over? Young social media users are less receptive to this kind of content than they once were.

Young consumers are expressing a fatigue with posts from these big-name influencers who are followed by millions of people, and are more interested in lesser-known figures’ posts.

It's not smooth sailing when it comes to the relationship between young online consumers and influencers. According to a recent YPulse* report, young people aren't as trusting of the most popular content creators as they once were. Forty-four percent of 13-39 year-olds even believe that influencers don’t have as much power as they used to.

On the contrary, young Americans and Canadians are now turning to influencers with smaller communities. Sixty-five percent of 13- to 39-year-olds even admit to preferring recommendations from content creators followed by a smaller community, the YPulse report pointed out.

In fact, one of the findings takes this concept even further, as many young people don’t really care how many followers a content creator has. YPulse adds that 55% of those questioned claim not to care.

While shopping advice from creators continues to be number one source of influence for young consumers' online purchases, many also consider the advice of their personal contacts. Seventy-eight percent claim to give more importance to the purchases of their friends than to those of an influencer, YPulse points out.

And this fatigue with mega influencers is also reflected in the fact that consumers are tired of being exposed to so many ad tie-ups. In Europe, influencers are now required to disclose when a commercial collaboration with a brand, for instance by mentioning it with a hashtag such as #ad. And young consumers aren't particularly fond of this type of content as 61% of them say they trust an influencer less if they create numerous product placement or sponsored posts.

According to a previous YPulse report, 64% of European eight- to 12-year-olds said they would buy something that an online influencer had recommended, compared to just 56% of 13- to 17-year-olds. – AFP Relaxnews

*This YPulse study was carried out among 1,500 people aged 13 to 39 in the United States and Canada, from February 13 to 25, 2024.

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