BALTIMORE -- You may not follow one on social media, but the chances are high that you know what an "influencer" is.
An "influencer" is someone who has the ability to influence potential buyers by promoting their products on their social media channels.
Top influencers can earn thousands, even millions of dollars a year.
But, in recent weeks there's a new trend.
These are people who call themselves "de-influencers' and they've taken over TikTok.
One post has a woman saying, "I am loving the whole, things I hate, deinfluencing trend so, let's do one. 'This friggin' mascara is quite possibly the worst mascara I've ever tried."
She used the hashtag #deinfluencer.
That posted garnished more than 160 million videos with that hashtag dropped to TikTok in just the past few weeks.
De-influencers are reacting to the power of 'influencers.
Influencers became a buzzword more than a decade ago with the rise of the internet.
For just that long, followers have been trusting and buying.
Professor Greg Hoplamazian. from Loyola University, said there's almost no company or brand too big or too small that isn't thinking about using an "influencer."
"They tend to work. They tend to work better than traditional advertising" Hoplamazian said.
The numbers tell the tale: 'Influencer Marketing Hub' said the industry is set to grow to $21.1 billion this year.
WJZ talked with local influencer Simone Phillips, known as "Charm City Table."
She said her goal is to uplift her city and community by featuring local restaurants and chefs.
Phillips is very aware of the "de-influencer' movement."
"They kind of a want to have like a movement that pushes back against that a little bit where they're actively telling people what not to buy or what to skip or maybe find a cheaper version," Phillips said.
Professor Hoplamazian said the "de-influencing" movement is coming out of a direct response to the power of 'influencers'.
"People become a little more tired and fatigued from how many influencers there are and how much we're told to buy, buy, buy," Hoplamazian said.
His simple rule is, "Only follow someone if you're just enjoying them almost for entertainment sake. Don't put all of your trust and faith in what they recommend."
for more features.